New York State Child Performer Regulations
The New York State Department of Labor issued Child Performer Regulations, effective April 1, 2013. The full text of the regulations and assessments on public comments can be found on the DOL website at: http://labor.ny.gov/legal/child-performer-regulations.shtm. The final regulations were published in the State Register on March 6, 2013, and will also be included in the New York Code of Rules and Regulations ("NYCRR") as 12 NYCRR Part 186. Before the regulations were adopted, SAG-AFTRA worked extensively with the DOL to ensure that minor performers were afforded necessary protections in the entertainment industry. We are happy to report that many of our comments were taken into consideration and the final text reflects our collective bargaining agreements in many respects.
The adopted regulations call for the following:
- A trust account must be established for child performers and employers are required to transfer 15 percent of earnings to the account to be held in trust until the minor is 18.
- Child performers must obtain a permit from the DOL, which can be renewed annually. Likewise, all employers of child performers need to obtain employer certificates from the DOL.
- Child performers below 16 years of age must be accompanied throughout the work day by a responsible person. In areas covered by SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction, the responsible person is the parent or someone named by the parent.
- An employer must provide a nurse with pediatric practice experience, and a responsible person for each three or fewer children performers between the ages of 15 days and six weeks, and for each 10 or fewer child performers from ages six weeks to six months.
- Employers are required to provide time and facilities for the education of child performers, regardless of where they are schooled, when their work schedules prevent them from fulfilling their educational requirement outside of work. Employers must provide certified or credentialed on-location teachers when needed.
- Work hours are set forth according to the age of the child and the type of production. These work hours closely mirror those negotiated in our collective bargaining agreements.
SAG-AFTRA believes these regulations will help protect child performers by creating a safe and productive environment when they work in the New York entertainment and media industries. SAG-AFTRA will continue to monitor the regulations and work with the DOL to ensure best practices continue to evolve. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the following SAG-AFTRA staff members:
Sarah Howes, Counsel, Legal & Government Affairs
Laws pertaining to work permits vary widely from state to state. Most states require a general work permit before a minor may engage in any type of employment.
- Most states require a letter from your child’s school indicating that the child is in good academic standing before they will issue a permit.
- You must also have a copy of your child’s birth certificate available.
- Always check with your local school and your State’s Department of Labor regarding employment in your area.
Special Work Permits
States such as California, New York, Louisiana and New Mexico have special work permits and rules and proof of trust (a.k.a. Coogan) accounts for children who are employed in the entertainment industry. You will find information about those special permits and rules through the following links:
Work Permit Information
For more information about your state’s laws in relation to the employment of minors visit the following websites:
New Hampshire: http://www.labor.state.nh.us/youth_employment.asp
North Carolina: http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/rules1933/rules1933.html
Rhode Island: http://www.dlt.ri.gov/ls/childlabor.htm
Washington State: http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/TeenWorkers/default.asp