SAG-AFTRA Tells Members to Seek Approval for New Work Amid Pandemic

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The union posted the notice on Thursday over health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 as lockdown measures begin to be eased.

SAG-AFTRA will require members to seek the union's approval before accepting new work amid health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdown measures begin to be eased. 

The union on Thursday posted a notice to members which outlined how they "must contact the union to ensure that they are accepting work that SAG-AFTRA has evaluated and established that the producer/employer has made provision for, and met adequate health and safety standards."

The notice comes a day after SAG-AFTRA engaged former Los Angeles County's public health director and health officer Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding to advise the union as it develops safety standards and protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19 when production resumes. 

The full SAG-AFTRA notice to members is below.

Dear Member,

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the attendant high risk to the health and safety of actors returning to work in the commercials and entertainment industry, no member should return to work under an existing contract or accept a contract for new employment without first securing the approval of the union.

Members must contact the union to ensure that they are accepting work that SAG-AFTRA has evaluated and established that the producer/employer has made provision for, and met adequate health and safety standards. In addition, such work offers must be consistent with all local, state and federal guidance regarding social distancing, essential business closures, and shelter in place orders and must be consistent with applicable, existing collective bargaining agreements.

The employers and producers remain solely responsible for ensuring the health and safety of all members they employ and no member shall sign any document releasing the employer from such responsibility.

SAG-AFTRA elected leaders, staff and medical experts, in conjunction with other unions and industry allies, are working around the clock to develop safety protocols in accordance with the best medical and safety information on COVID-19.