FREE FOR CLA MEMBERS
California Lawyers for the Arts and LA STAGE Alliance co-present an informational session on EDD rulings against non-profit theaters.
Please join LA STAGE Alliance and California Lawyers for the Arts for a workshop/town hall on the recent rulings by California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), and how it affects the future of non-profit organizations in general, and of our theaters in particular.
In the past few year, EDD audits were completed for Sacramento Theatre Company, Shotgun Players (a 100-seat theater in Berkeley that uses union and non-union actors), and CASA 0101 (a 99-seat theater in Boyle Heights that has been operating under Los Angeles County’s 99-Seat Theater Plan — an agreement between Actors’ Equity Association [the national stage actors’ union] and its members to permit union actors to work for stipends. In all three audits, EDD determined that these theaters had mis-classified all of their workers as independent contractors, and that they should be/have been classified as employees. The rulings resulted in a $50,000 fine for back-taxes for Shotgun Players, and a $7,000 fine for CASA 0101. Both theaters have filed appeals and are being represented pro bono through California Lawyers for the Arts Lawyer Referral Service.
In the meantime, a ruling by the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board concurred with an administrative judge in Sacramento, and struck down the EDD ruling against the Sacramento Theatre Company, almost in its entirety. The appeal ruling asserted that the theater had classified its workers correctly as independent contractors.
Even so, the complexities of the law and the idiosyncrasies of each theater’s circumstances render the EDD’s actions a serious threat to the ability of small theaters throughout the state to continue to operate. Please join us for a moderated discussion, with attorneys from California Lawyers for the Arts, of how non-profit organizations can best protect themselves, and what these ruling by EDD mean for the sector.