Top Priorities for Entertainment Workers in Subsequent COVID-19 Legislation
Congress has begun to pursue additional federal legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The entertainment industry will continue to be disproportionately impacted by this health crisis and we need to ensure that that subsequent COVID-19 legislation puts workers first. We must act now and urge our representatives to include the following priorities in any subsequent legislation:
· Extend the “CARES” Act’s unemployment insurance provisions for as long as the health crisis persists.
· Ensure the safety of entertainment workers as states allow workplaces to re-open by ordering OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard that establishes an employer’s responsibility to protect workers from infection. Under current standards no such obligation exists which leaves the door open and put workers and their families at risk.
· Make sure workers in all states have access to COVID-19 relief by demanding that states ramp up and improve their unemployment claim processing
· Preserve workers' healthcare and ensure that no-one loses their benefits by passing a 100 percent COBRA premium subsidy to keep families insured on their job-based healthcare plan and extend eligibility to 36 months.
· Allow all nonprofits fair access to the government economic support in the Paycheck Protection Program – including labor unions, the staffs of which are providing vital assistance to members around the clock and face the same hardships that small businesses face.
· Protect the healthy pension plans and earned pension checks of entertainment workers by allowing multiemployer plans to implement policies that safeguarded pensions after the Great Recession, such as freezing zone status, smoothing investment losses, and doing no harm to healthy pension plans.
· Update the Qualified Performing Artist tax deduction, allowing creative professionals to keep more of our hard-earned money by deducting necessary business expenses from their taxes, now due in July.
· Provide direct economic support for organizations in the arts, entertainment, and media industries with appropriate workforce restoration requirements to get people back to work when it is safe to do so.