Cancellations for stand-ins can occur for a number of reasons. And depending on the circumstances, stand-ins may or may not be entitled to payment for the cancelled workday.
This article outlines the rules regarding cancellations for union stand-ins working on film and television productions in the New York and Los Angeles work zones.
The Printed Rules
The SAG-AFTRA Background Actors 2014 Theatrical and Television Contracts Digest (published for both New York and Los Angeles) is a publication that summarizes the collective bargaining agreement language for background actors and thereby stand-ins. With respect to cancellations, the digests both say::
The Background Actor is entitled to a full day of pay for cancellation of an initial work call, unless such cancellation is due to illness in principal cast, fire, flood, or other similar catastrophe or national emergency. In the event of such cancellation, the Background Actor will be entitled to a half-check. If the Background Actor is notified of such cancellation before 6:00 pm of the workday previous to the work date, the Background Actor will not be entitled to the half-check.
The Key Points
Here are key points to note about this cancellation policy:
- If you are cancelled before 6:00pm on the workday before the day of work, no matter the reason, you are not entitled to any pay. If the production shoots Monday through Friday, production would have to cancel your booking by 6:00PM on Friday for a Monday call to avoid paying you.
- If you are cancelled after 6:00pm on the workday before the day of work “due to illness in principal cast, fire, flood, or other similar catastrophe or national emergency,” you will be entitled to receive a check for half of your day rate.
- If you are cancelled after 6:00pm on the workday before the day of work for any other reason besides the ones noted above, you will be entitled to receive a check for your full day rate.
How to Get Paid When You Were Cancelled
If production cancels the entire work day and reschedules it, you may be booked to work again another day. In that case, when you later report to work, you will be able to fill out an additional voucher for the cancellation day.
Sometimes the cancellation occurs after you have reported to set. In that case, you would fill out a voucher there for your half check and likely be sent home afterward.
If you are not rescheduled for work, casting will instruct you on how to receive payment for the cancelled day. They may email you a voucher to print out, fill out, scan, and send back to be forwarded to the production office. Or they may offer you the option of reporting to the casting office to fill out a voucher in person there.
If in Doubt
As always, if you aren’t sure about the rules, call your local SAG-AFTRA office and ask questions. You should be able to file a claim inquiry if you believe you are entitled to pay for a cancellation and you did not receive it.
What has your experience been with cancellations? Do you have any more information or advice to share? Please comment below!