This bill has been amended

Bill S5576-2011

Relates to the definition of artists and theatrical employment agencies

Relates to the definition of an artist and theatrical employment agencies.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 23, 2012: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Jan 19, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Jan 18, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.72
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • Jan 4, 2012: returned to senate
  • Jan 4, 2012: died in assembly
  • Jun 20, 2011: referred to labor
  • Jun 20, 2011: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 20, 2011: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 20, 2011: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1395
  • Jun 3, 2011: REFERRED TO RULES

Meetings

Calendars

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Consumer Protection - Jan 18, 2012
Ayes (10): Zeldin, Ball, Fuschillo, Little, Marcellino, O'Mara, Adams, Hassell-Thompson, Huntley, Squadron

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5576

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law and the arts and cultural affairs law, in relation to theatrical employment agencies

PURPOSE OF THE BILL: To clarify and create consistency in the regulation of theatrical employment agencies.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Sections 1 and 4 of the bill would amend the General Business Law and the Arts and Cultural Law, respectively, to add a definition of "artist" and to make corresponding amendments to definitions of "theatrical employment agency" and "theatrical engagement."

Section 2 would amend the general business law to authorize theatrical employment agencies to provide, with any written contracts, notices stating that statutory provisions related to fees and fee refunds apply.

Section 3 would amend the general business law to provide that, as is the case for other types of employment agencies and consistent with widespread practice, a theatrical employment agency may charge a fee absent a written contract if the agency is responsible for referring the job applicant to an employer or an employer to a job applicant which results in employment for such applicant. The bill would clarify a fee is permitted where such theatrical employment agency represents an artist in a negotiation or renegotiation of an original or pre-existing contract. The bill would exempt theatrical employment agencies from the inapplicable requirement of offering installment plans.

JUSTIFICATION:

Specifically, the bill would amend the definition of theatrical engagements which are currently limited to actors and performers and as Class C employment. Thus, all other theatrical-related engagements for writers; directors, and cinematographers, among others, are classified as Class B employment - along with clerical workers. Class B statutory requirements are based on monthly salaries for job applicants and have little applicability to theatrical engagements. The bill would modernize these definitions so employment related to theatrical engagements - including for writers, directors and cinematographers - are appropriately classified as Class C and are not subject to the incompatible requirements for Class B employment.

The bill would also authorize theatrical employment agencies to provide a notice of applicable provisions relating to fee ceilings and return of fees in written contracts relating to theatrical engagements. The current statutory provisions relate principally to fees and fee refunds concerning domestics, laborers, industrial

workers and mechanics and not artists - and are confusing in the context of theatrical engagements for artists.

Current law provides that contracts for domestics, household employees, unskilled or untrained manual workers, laborers, including agricultural workers, non-professional trained or skilled industrial workers, and mechanics need not be in writing in order for an employment agency a fee. The bill would include theatrical employment agencies to the current exception provided the theatrical agency has referred the artist to an employer or vice versa and has resulted in employment and circumstances where the theatrical employment agency is engaged by artist in the negotiating or renegotiating an original or pre-existing contract subject an statutory fee ceilings.

The bill would exempt theatrical employment agencies from the requirement of installment plans for the payment of theatrical agency fees. Installment plans make no sense in the entertainment industry, since artists are typically engaged on a per production basis. Accordingly, establishing a framework for an artist to make installment payments does not work. Of course, theatrical employment agencies would continue to receive nothing unless and until the artist has compensation and then only on the amount the artist is paid and subject to the statutory fee ceiling.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5576 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 3, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the general business law and the arts and cultural affairs law, in relation to theatrical employment agencies THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 8 and 9 of section 171 of the general business law, as amended by chapter 617 of the laws of 1988, are amended and a new subdivision 8-a is added to read as follows: 8. "Theatrical employment agency" means any person (as defined in subdivision seven of this section) who procures or attempts to procure employment or engagements for [circus, vaudeville, the variety field, the legitimate theater, motion pictures, radio, television, phonograph recordings, transcriptions, opera, concert, ballet, modeling or other entertainments or exhibitions or performances] AN ARTIST, but such term does not include the business of managing [such] entertainments, exhibi- tions or performances, or the artists or attractions constituting the same, where such business only incidentally involves the seeking of employment therefor. 8-A. "ARTIST" SHALL MEAN ACTORS AND ACTRESSES RENDERING SERVICES ON THE LEGITIMATE STAGE AND IN THE PRODUCTION OF MOTION PICTURES, RADIO ARTISTS, MUSICAL ARTISTS, MUSICAL ORGANIZATIONS, DIRECTORS OF LEGITIMATE STAGE, MOTION PICTURE AND RADIO PRODUCTIONS, MUSICAL DIRECTORS, WRITERS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS, COMPOSERS, LYRICISTS, ARRANGERS, MODELS, AND OTHER ARTISTS AND PERSONS RENDERING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES IN MOTION PICTURE, THEATRICAL, RADIO, TELEVISION AND OTHER ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISES. 9. "Theatrical engagement" means any engagement or employment of [a person as an actor, performer or entertainer in employment described in subdivision eight of this section] AN ARTIST. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 181 of the general business law, as added by chapter 632 of the laws of 1975, is amended to read as follows:
1. A true copy of every contract executed between such agency and such applicant, which shall have printed on it or attached to it a statement setting forth in a clear and concise manner the provisions of sections one hundred eighty-five, and one hundred eighty-six of this article; PROVIDED HOWEVER, THAT CONTRACTS FOR CLASS C EMPLOYMENT MAY INSTEAD PROVIDE NOTICE OF THE APPLICABILITY OF SECTIONS ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE AND ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX OF THIS ARTICLE. S 3. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 185 of the general business law, as amended by chapter 617 of the laws of 1988, are amended to read as follows: 1. Circumstances permitting fee. An employment agency shall not charge or accept a fee or other consideration unless in accordance with the terms of a written contract with a job applicant, except: (A) for class "A" [and], "A-1" AND "C" employment[, and except] after such agency has been responsible for referring such job applicant to an employer or such employer to a job applicant and where as a result thereof such job applicant has been employed by such employer; OR, (B) IN THE CASE OF CLASS "C" EMPLOYMENT AFTER AN AGENCY REPRESENTS AN ARTIST IN THE NEGOTI- ATION OR RENEGOTIATION OF AN ORIGINAL OR PRE-EXISTING EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT. The maximum fees provided for herein for all types of place- ments or employment may be charged to the job applicant and a similar fee may be charged to the employer provided, however, that with regard to placements in class "B" employment, a fee of up to one and one-half times the fee charged to the job applicant may be charged to the employ- er. By agreement with an employment agency, the employer may voluntarily assume payment of the job applicant's fee. The fees charged to employers by any licensed person conducting an employment agency for rendering services in connection with, or for providing employment in classes "A", "A-1" and "B", as hereinafter defined in subdivision four of this section where the applicant is not charged a fee shall be determined by agreement between the employer and the employment agency. No fee shall be charged or accepted for the registration of applicants for employees or employment. 2. Size of fee; payment schedule. The gross fee charged to the job applicant and the gross fee charged to the employer each shall not exceed the amounts enumerated in the schedules set forth in this section, for any single employment or engagement, except as hereinabove provided; and such fees shall be subject to the provisions of section one hundred eighty-six of this article. Except as otherwise provided herein, AND EXCEPT FOR CLASS "C" EMPLOYMENT, an employment agency shall not require an applicant while employed in the continental United States, and paid weekly to pay any fee at a rate greater than in ten equal weekly [instalments] INSTALLMENTS each of which shall be payable at the end of each of the first ten weeks of employment, or if paid less frequently, in five equal installments, each of which shall be payable at the end of the first five pay periods following his employment, or within a period of ten weeks, whichever period is longer. An employer's fee shall be due and payable at the time the applicant begins employ- ment, unless otherwise determined by agreement between the employer and the agency. S 4. Subdivisions 3 and 4 of section 37.01 of the arts and cultural affairs law are amended and a new subdivision 5 is added to read as follows: 3. "Theatrical employment agency" means any person (as defined in subdivision one hereof) who procures or attempts to procure employment or engagements for [circus, vaudeville, the variety field, the legiti-
mate theater, motion pictures, radio, television, phonograph recordings, transcriptions, opera, concert, ballet, modeling or other entertainments or exhibitions or performances]
AN ARTIST, but such term does not include the business of managing [such] entertainments, exhibitions or performances, or the artists or attractions constituting the same, where such business only incidentally involves the seeking of employment therefor. 4. "Theatrical engagement" means any engagement or employment of [a person as an actor, performer or entertainer] AN ARTIST in employment described in subdivision three of this section. 5. "ARTIST" SHALL MEAN ACTORS AND ACTRESSES RENDERING SERVICES ON THE LEGITIMATE STAGE AND IN THE PRODUCTION OF MOTION PICTURES, RADIO ARTISTS, MUSICAL ARTISTS, MUSICAL ORGANIZATIONS, DIRECTORS OF LEGITIMATE STAGE, MOTION PICTURE AND RADIO PRODUCTIONS, MUSICAL DIRECTORS, WRITERS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS, COMPOSERS, LYRICISTS, ARRANGERS, MODELS, AND OTHER ARTISTS AND PERSONS RENDERING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES IN MOTION PICTURE, THEATRICAL, RADIO, TELEVISION AND OTHER ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISES. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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