By Sally R. Gaglini
If the sentiment sounds familiar, you are not alone. Working your way through state laws can be a real challenge. Aside from running the legal meter, what can you do?
Here’s a Top 10 List of Suggested Production Tips.
1.) REQUIRE parents to produce their child’s birth certificate. If you are hiring a minor from another country, obtaining this record may take extra time so start early. Some states require certification.
2.) OBTAIN the full residential address of the minor
3.) LEARN the child's state of residency and its age of minority.
4.) DETERMINE if the child's resident state or country has a child performer law that requires Compliance. The answer to this question may SURPRISE you. If you work in the production world, surprises are generally not your friend.
Did you know that Canada passed a Child Performer Law in 2015?
5.) DO NOT PANIC if the answer to Question 4 is YES! Understand what the law requires you to do. In other words, what are your legal obligations as the producer? [If you cannot obtain correct information that is verifiable, dust off your wallet and pay for it. Good legal advice is priceless.]
6.) UNDERSTAND a parent's obligations if the answer to Question 4 is YES. Parents may ask and if you do not know or at least know how to direct them, it may slow down production.
7.) ACT QUICKLY. If you are unsure what is required, ASK A PROFESSIONAL.
Most kids won’t grow out of their minority before production begins.
8.) DECIDE IN ADVANCE if you seek the court’s protection of your production contract signed by the minor and you. If and when the court “Judicially Approves” the contract, it is generally like the child signed the agreement as a grown-up.
9.) PROVIDE copies of contracts including Parent Agreements to those whose signatures you require; offer them fair and reasonable notice in advance of production.
10.) DETERMINE if you will be seeking the court’s protection of a contract signed by your production and the minor. And proceed calmly if the production has already occurred. Depending on the court, post-production contracts may be reviewable.
© 2017 Gaglini Law Group LLC