Relates to abandoned property and residuals payment plans established by labor unions.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the abandoned property law, in relation to residuals payment plans established by labor unions
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Relates to abandoned property and residuals payment plans established by labor unions.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 103 of the abandoned property law is amended by adding a new subdivision (h).
Section 501 of the abandoned property law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6.
JUSTIFICATION: New York State's Abandoned Property Law currently deems "abandoned" any property belonging to a resident of the state of NY that is unclaimed by the intended recipient for a period of 3 years. This abandoned property is then required to be turned over to the New York State Comptroller's Office. This bill seeks to exclude compensation placed in a residual payment plan by entertainment unions from the definition of abandoned property. This legislation recognizes that entertainment unions are uniquely positioned to ensure that union members ultimately receive their residuals through a systematic program established to locate the performers. Additionally, union members may indefinitely access these payment plans and submit claims for payment. The Screen Actors Guild, for example. has successfully administered a residuals payment plan on behalf of its members for over 30 years.
Performers receive payments for the supplemental use of film and television projects produced pursuant to collective bargaining agreements, agreements negotiated by performer unions. These payments are called residuals and they are paid by film and TV employers who send checks, made out to the individual performers, to the performer unions for processing. The unions then forward the checks to the individual performers. However, performers are a transient class of professionals and it is oftentimes difficult to locate and track them. If a payment is returned to sender, the unions begin a time consuming and resource intensive process of trying to locate the payee. The relationship between performers and their unions with regard to residuals and residuals payment plans are unique and unlike the typical employer-employee relationship, or trade association-member relationship. In order to best facilitate the return of residuals to performers, performer unions create residuals payment plans, which serve as single, nationwide clearinghouses for actors who may have residuals owed to them. Performer unions continually attempt to locate performers who are due residuals, and performers can contact their unions to determine if residuals are due to them.
In the event performers are not located, these residuals payments should be available for use by entertainment unions for the collective benefit of the performers, but with the clear understanding that a performer retains the right to seek the return of such funds at any time in the future. It is clearly in the best interest of performers, due to their unique relationship with the unions, and to the unique method of residuals payment distribution from the employers, for this money to remain in entertainment union residuals payment plans and not to be classified as abandoned property under the New York Abandoned Property Law.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New for 2011.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to New York State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixteenth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 4531 A. 7019 2011-2012 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y April 11, 2011 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LITTLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. LENTOL -- read once and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means AN ACT to amend the abandoned property law, in relation to residuals payment plans established by labor unions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 103 of the abandoned property law is amended by adding a new subdivision (h) to read as follows: (H) "RESIDUALS" MEANS PAYMENTS, PURSUANT TO LAW OR A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN USES OF RECORDED MATERIALS. S 2. Section 501 of the abandoned property law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6 to read as follows: 6. A RESIDUALS PAYMENT PLAN, AND THE ACCOUNTS AND MONIES THEREIN, ESTABLISHED BY A LABOR UNION WHICH RECEIVES FOR DISTRIBUTION RESIDUALS ON BEHALF OF EMPLOYEES WORKING UNDER COLLECTIVE-BARGAINING AGREEMENTS, SHALL NOT BE DEEMED ABANDONED PROPERTY IF THE PLAN ALLOWS A PARTICIPANT, ENTITLED TO A DISTRIBUTION UNDER THE PLAN, TO BE REIMBURSED UPON THE MAKING OF A VALID CLAIM TO THE LABOR UNION FOR PAYMENT. S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10590-01-1