This statement from the Screen Actors Guild National, Hollywood and New York Division Elections Committees is to inform you of various obligations imposed on you by federal law in connection with the upcoming SAG internal union elections.
Federal law prohibits any employer including employers who are agents, managers, casting agents or producers from contributing anything of value to candidates for any SAG elected office. In addition, federal law may require that candidates who receive such contributions report them to the Department of Labor.
This prohibition includes indirect, as well as direct, expenditures. The prohibition against the use of employer money includes any costs incurred by an employer, or anything of value contributed by an employer, in order to support the candidacy of the member. The use of an employer's office equipment without charge has been construed to be an impermissible contribution by an employer.1
The following are examples of the application of these legal obligations to situations which commonly are confronted by candidates for Guild office:
- No employer may provide any contributions or assistance of any kind to any candidate. Thus, for example, no candidate may solicit the support of any employer that is a talent agency for an individual’s candidacy nor may any talent agency lend such support – through financial contributions, solicitations of support through emails or mailings, etc. – even if the candidate did not request the support. Even forwarding emails may be a violation of this policy.
- Employees may make contributions only if those employees are not acting on behalf of their employer.
Engaging in any of the conduct described above may jeopardize the integrity of the SAG election process. Please do not violate SAG Election Guidelines or federal law. If you have any questions, please direct them to Michelle Bennett, Governance Executive Director, at (323) 549-6094.
1 This restriction does not extend to ordinary business practices that might result in a benefit such as a discount on the cost of printing campaign literature made available on the same terms to other customers of the employer. Such discounts must be made known and available to all persons. The discount cannot be a “donation” to an individual candidate or slate of candidates.