Non-Union Talent Payroll

Although there may not be union guidelines or P&H contributions governing the employment of non-union talent, labor laws and established hiring practices do come into play. The TEAM Companies are well versed in state & federal labor laws, allocating lump-sum payments between session and use, and providing insight on projects that may cross over to union jurisdiction.

The Buyout

“Buyout” is frequently used to reference a non-union talent deal that is paid in a lump-sum payment for both session and use. However, the use often has terms that require tracking and renewals. A true buyout means the performer has agreed to let the employer use their image and performance in perpetuity. True buyouts are rare. To assist you in the proper hiring of non-union talent, regardless of the terms of the agreement, The TEAM Companies provide:

  • Review of non-union talent agreements and releases
  • Insight regarding session and use allocations
  • Guidance on applicable labor laws, including Earned Sick Leave and WTPA requirements

The Union & Non-Union Challenge

Most producers hiring talent know that they cannot mix union and non-union performers on a shoot. Yet, where many producers run into a challenge is trying to incorporate an element produced under union jurisdiction into their non-union production or vice-versa. Common situations include:

  • Incorporating a union voice over into a commercial shot with non-union on camera talent
  • Using stock footage featuring non-union performers into a union project
  • Shooting a spot with non-union talent and then using a piece of music recorded under the SAG-AFTRA Sound Recording Code

The TEAM Companies can help spot these potential conflicts early in the process, saving costly reshoots, backtracking and additional editorial costs.

It’s What You Know

Worker classification continues to be a priority for the IRS. There are many federal and state tests that help determine whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor. Through the link below, you can access information compiled by our employment experts to help you navigate this increasingly scrutinized area.

Learn More

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