Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1385 Employee obligations: exclusivity options: music talent and actors.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 2855 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

2855.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), a  A  contract to render personal service, other than a contract of apprenticeship as provided in Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 3070), may not be enforced against the employee beyond seven years from the commencement of service under it. Any contract, otherwise valid, to perform or render service of a special, unique, unusual, extraordinary, or intellectual character, which gives it peculiar value and the loss of which cannot be reasonably or adequately compensated in damages in an action at law, may nevertheless be enforced against the person contracting to render the service, for a term not to exceed seven years from the commencement of service under it. If the employee voluntarily continues to serve under it beyond that time, the contract may be referred to as affording a presumptive measure of the compensation.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a): For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply: 
(1) “Actor” means an actor, stunt performer, voiceover performer, or any other performing artist rendering on-screen or off-screen performance services.
(1) (2)  Any employee who is a party to a contract to render personal service in the production of phonorecords in which sounds are first fixed,  “Episodic series” means a series of two or more motion pictures,  as defined in Section 101 of Title 17 of the United States Code, may not invoke the provisions of subdivision (a) without first giving written notice to the employer in accordance with Section 1020 of the Code of Civil Procedure, specifying that the employee from and after a future date certain specified in the notice will no longer render service under the contract by reason of subdivision (a). produced for initial exhibition on television, streaming, or other distribution, but excluding motion pictures produced for initial theatrical distribution. 
(3) “Music product” means a phonorecord or sound recording, as defined in Section 101 of Title 17 of the United States Code.
(4) “Music talent” means a recording artist.
(c) (1) A contract for the exclusive personal services of a music talent may not contain a term that includes option periods which extend more than six months after the earlier of:
(A) The satisfaction of the delivery obligation for a contract period by the musical talent.
(B) The initial commercial release of the applicable music product.
(1) If the music talent’s option has not been formally exercised within the time period specified in paragraph (1), the music talent may, at any time, terminate their personal services agreement by sending notice to the contracting party.
(d) (1) The initial term, including in aggregate any automatic renewal or extension terms, of a contract for the exclusive or first-priority personal services of an actor on an episodic series may not extend for more than 12 months after the earlier of:
(A) The delivery to the employer or employer’s representative of the contract executed by or on behalf of the actor or the actor’s personal services company.
(B) The actor’s commencement of performance services for the pilot of the episodic series, or the first episode of the first season or cycle of the episodic series if there is no pilot.
(2) Any party to a contract described in paragraph (1) shall have the right to recover damages for a breach of the contract occurring during its term in an action commenced during or after its term, but within the applicable period prescribed by law. If one or more contracts for the exclusive or first-priority personal services of an actor on an episodic series includes options for subsequent seasons or cycles, exercisable by any person other than the actor, then each option must be exercised, and all of the actor’s performance services for each optioned season must be completed, within 12 months after the completion of the prior season’s performance services by the actor. 
(3) If a party to a contract described  an actor’s performance services will not be completed within the timeframes set forth  in paragraph (1) is, or could contractually be, required to render personal service in the production of a specified quantity of the phonorecords and fails to render all of the required service prior to the date specified in the notice provided in paragraph (1), the party damaged by the failure shall have the right to recover damages for each phonorecord as to which that party has failed to render service in an action that, notwithstanding paragraph (2), shall be commenced within 45 days after the date specified in the notice. or (2), the actor may, at any time, terminate their personal services aggreement by sending notice to the contracting party. 
(e) No part of this section may be waived in an individual negotiation, collective bargaining agreement, or other agreement.
(f) Any provision in a contract that would deprive the music talent or actor of the protections of this section shall be void.
(g) This section shall apply to all unexercised option periods after January 1, 2022, regardless of the start date of the contract containing those option periods.