October 15, 2021

Volume XI, Number 288

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Mask On, Roll Camera: LA County Greenlights Hollywood Production Restart

As we previously reported, last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California’s State Public Health Officer cleared the music, film and television industry to resume work no earlier than this Friday, June 12, 2020, subject to county-by-county approval.  On June 10, 2020, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, announced that she was in agreement and authorized the resumption of film and television production in Los Angeles County, effective June 12, 2020.

Late yesterday, Dr. Ferrer issued an updated Health Officer Order that officially permits music, film and television production to resume in the nation’s largest entertainment production location.  The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also issued industry-specific reopening protocols for the music, film and television production industries.  Among other things, the protocols:

  • Mandate designation of one or more COVID-19 compliance officers;
  • Require that all employees and visitors wear face coverings whenever they are in contact with others, unless the production activity does not allow it;
  • Require, for television and film production, regular, periodic testing of cast and crew, especially for those cast and crew that are involved in “high risk scenes requiring close contact without face coverings for extended periods;”
  • Require, for one-time productions operating on shorter schedules and smaller music recording sessions, all work be planned to eliminate close physical contact as much as possible;
  • Mandate remote or in-person (upon arrival) symptom checks before any employee enters the workplace, in addition to temperature checks at the worksite, if feasible;
  • Prohibit open calls, and encourage casting to be performed remotely or, if in-person, with appointments to limit crowds;
  • Require that any work requiring cast or crew to be closer than six feet to be as brief as possible and, during such periods, require that cast members “be as silent as possible to avoid spreading droplets through talking;”
  • Discourage scenes involving direct, prolonged contact between cast members (e.g., intimate scenes, fight scenes, etc.) or large crowds; and
  • Prohibit buffet-style craft services and any communal food or drinks.

In addition to the new County protocols, pursuant to the State Health Officer’s reopening authorization, music, film and television employers also must adhere to protocols agreed to by labor and management, which may encompass the recommendations set forth in the June 1, 2020 industry-wide labor management task force white paper.  However, per the task force’s white paper, more specific protocols, including department-specific procedures, may need to be agreed upon between management and labor.  We will continue to monitor this developing situation.

© 2021 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 164
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About this Author

Anthony J Oncidi, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Partner

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office. Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection....

310-284-5690
Kate Gold Labor and Employment Lawyer Proskauer
Partner

Kate Gold is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department in the Los Angeles office.

Kate has over 25 years of experience representing clients in a range of industries, across all areas of employment law.  An experienced litigator, she has represented clients in all types of employment-related suits, including class and collective actions, discrimination, retaliation and harassment, non-compete and wage/hour matters.  In addition to litigating, she conducts high-level workplace investigations and routinely counsels clients on matters involving the full range of state and...

+1.310.284.5623
Phillipe Lebel labor & Employment Attorney Los Angeles Proskauer Law Firm
Associate

Philippe (Phil) A. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, trade secrets, and breach of contract litigation, in both the single-plaintiff and class-action context, at both the trial and appellate level, and before administrative agencies. Phil also represents employers in connection with labor law matters, such as labor arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. Additionally, Phil counsels clients to ensure compliance with federal...

+1.310.284.4558
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