Labor Reg Update. New Website. Feature ~ Health Exams
It's really, really quite . . . too quite.
<cue creepy Michael Myers Halloween Music).
In advocacy, there is always a balance between "stirring the pot" and "laying low." After the New York State Department of Labor's end run around the regulations process ~ secretly asking a lawmaker unfamiliar with the pending regulations to sponsor a bill to reduce the number of permits required to one per year ~ we all wondered what was next. [Note: Although most supported the reduction in permits, the original time frame was designed to provide educational and trust account protections every six months for child performers.]
Some believed that Labor would engage in talks with interested parties but according to Leo Rosales, Spokesperson for the NYS DOL, "there are no meetings currently scheduled." (We left seven messages with Labor Counsel before reaching out to Mr. Rosales) Many believed that the law was written after Labor realized that child performers were permitted twice a year (not once a year) forcing children to receive mental and physical health examinations twice a year to satisfy their proposed regulation, contrary to the one exam per year recommendation of the Child Performer Advisory Board (Eating Disorder Committee).
Still, others believed that the new law was the culmination of the entire regulatory process and nothing more would come of the many controversial proposed regulations. Unfortunately, the new "one permit per year" law does not impact the proposed regulations. In fact, although the proposed regulations technically expire on December 27th of this year, Labor may "submit a notice of continuation" and establish a "new expiration date." Yes, it appears the regulations could be pending . . . forever.
We Sit Helplessly Waiting For Labor's Next Move
It is grossly unprofessional that Labor has disregarded child performer safety and work force stability by proposing reckless regulations and then chosen to remain silent while 6,000 child performers, 500 permitted production companies, and hundreds of others who work within the entertainment community sit helplessly waiting for them to make their next move.
With the "expiration date" nearing, we believe that it is important to be prepared. If Labor chooses to proceed forward and honor their deadline, we should expect them to submit their changes to their proposed regulations any day now. Once their proposed changes are "published," the entertainment industry will have only 30 days to respond. The DOL has stated that they may hold one public hearing during that time. After 30 days, DOL may adopt the proposed regulation as published or with additional changes. The ball is in their court with no oversight from any governmental body.
As some of you may know, Child Performers Coalition updated its website this summer. (www.childperformerscoalition.org) Newsletters and information is now easier to find. We hope you find the new format helpful.
Feature: Mental and Physical Health Examinations
This week, we invite you to read about the Mental and Physical Health Examinations that have been proposed. Under six month permitting, child performers were to receive a mental and physical health examination twice a year. Now, child performers would receive an evaluation once a year. It is critical to understand that the proposed examination goes far beyond a normal check up, interferes with the doctor/patient relationship, allows doctors to call the DOL and "pull" a permit (yes, a doctor can revoke a child's permit), promotes doctor shopping, does nothing to protect children, and provides little safeguard to a child's personal medical information becoming public. Click on here for more information.
Thank you so much for your support.