Studios Commit to 2 Weeks Pay for Furloughed Below-the-Line Workers, Directors Guild Says

Group says it is also in talks with other employers to do the same

Last Updated: March 26, 2020 @ 6:37 AM

In a message to members Wednesday, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) said that among other efforts taken during the coronavirus shutdown, it has secured a commitment from “the major studios” to provide two weeks of pay to affected below-the-lone workers.

DGA added that it is “in talks with other employers demanding they do the same or better,” and that it is also trying to “secure relief for directors.” In addition, DGA said it is also pushing networks and local news outlets to provide a safe workplace for members.

In the message, posted on the guild’s official site, DGA laid out other efforts it is making amid the pandemic. Among them:

• “Thousands of residuals checks worth tens of millions of dollars” have been fast-tracked.
• DGA is lobbying at the state and federal level for increased financial aid for members who, as freelancers, “may not fit the mold of the average worker for which most eligibility rules are drafted for governmental programs.”
• DGA is consulting with health care professionals “on how best to conduct our operations and implement social distancing policies while providing critical support for our members.”
• The guild has approved temporary changes to its health plan, expanding coverage to include teleconferencing with doctors, waiving of all patient cost-sharing, deferring payment of premiums until July. Also, members who are out of work but met guild minimums in 2019 will remain covered until January, 2021.
• Finally, the guild will not suspend members who cannot pay dues through at least July 1.

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