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UPDATED 3-19-2020

Disclaimer: The questions here have been compiled based on the questions our Field Reps are receiving. We have members working under so many different contracts, it makes it challenging to provide detailed answers that can apply to everyone. We thought a FAQ would be helpful to you, but please keep in mind, there may be some nuances not specifically addressed here depending on what contract you may be working under. 


Am I going to be paid if my show goes on hiatus?

If you are hired specific to a production, the IATSE and all of the motion picture and television production locals are advocating that employers do the right thing and pay a minimum of two weeks to IA members who have suddenly found themselves unexpectedly unemployed as a result of the pandemic. Many have agreed to do so already. If you are not being paid, please report this to the office.


If you are employed at a studio facility, not hired on a single production and you are put on hiatus or lay-off, the same should apply. These requests will not be filtered through the IA because there aren’t any IA production employees involved, so you will need to let your Field Rep know, if you have not done so already.  


If you work at a facility not associated with a studio, there are varying policies and procedures being considered. If you are uncertain at this time of your future employment status, please contact the Field Rep who oversees your facility. 

Is my employer required to provide me a 5-day notice?

In our Majors and Independent Agreements for editorial employees in Los Angeles only, normally a one week notice of lay-off, or pay in lieu of, is required after four consecutive weeks of employment. There is language that negates this in a ”force majeure” situation.   This pandemic is arguably that; however, since we are working to set a minimum of two weeks standard pay for those put on hiatus, we are fighting to get you two weeks of pay.


* Not applicable to the NY Majors (Amendment) Agreement

I was laid-off in the middle of the week, but I have a weekly guarantee. Do I get my guarantee fulfilled?

You can be laid-off midweek and have your weekly guarantee pro-rated. 

Should I file for unemployment?

As soon as you become aware you will not be paid, yes, you should file for unemployment. Both California and New York have waived the typical five-day waiting period so the benefits will kick in right away. See Unemployment offices by state: Download the PDF


See more info under Unemployment Resources:

I do not feel safe going into work, but my employer has not given me permission to work from home. What should I do?

If you are employed in a craft that can, with some adjustments, work from home, you should tell your employer you do not feel safe reporting to work, if you are over the age of 65, or have an underlying health issue or an otherwise compromised immune system, you should not be reporting to a work-site. Your employer should be responsible for making arrangements for you to work from home.


If you perform work that cannot be done from home, but feel unsafe reporting to work, please notify your supervisor in writing. If you are in the Los Angeles area, please be sure to copy Scott George, our Western Executive Director, If you are in New York or other eastern region areas, please copy Paul Moore, Eastern Executive Director, Any retaliation for doing so is strictly prohibited.

I work at a fixed facility and cannot work from home. Am I entitled to hazardous pay?

Not necessarily. It depends on what contract you work under. If you are unsure, please contact a Field Rep.

I have an Employee Shareholder company. Is the Plan offering a relief on the required benefit contributions?

If employers choose to pay their employees and report the weekly guarantee, contributions will be accepted.


Controlling Employee contributions are still due at 56 hours a week unless we are provided with EDD documentation, such as proof of unemployment or disability benefits.


If the Controlling Employees apply for unemployment benefits and provide MPI adequate documentation from EDD to show they are receiving unemployment or disability benefits, contributions will not be due for the weeks covered by EDD.


We will need reports of contributions cover and detail sheets for each week that the Controlling Employees receive unemployment benefits, noting UNEMPLOYMENT or DISABIITY on each report, and copies of the EDD stub(s) or payment history from the EDD online portal showing the week(s) paid. These documents should be emailed to Claudio Il’Grande at


(This information was provided to the Guild staff by a MPI Employer Contracts Representative on 4/6/2020)

What business-related expenses should be reimbursable by the employers?

You can expect to be reimbursed for expenses that are necessary to perform your work and are also reasonable. This is governed by state and federal laws where there are not state laws specific to this. There are not set amounts of money or percentages attached to any specific expenses. I recognize this is not ideal, but as these are governed by laws and the union agreements, that is as it stands right now. You need to ask your employer to provide you with their employee expense policy which they are required to have, in advance, to avoid any out of pocket, unreimbursable expenses.

Tax obligations related to employer reimbursed business expenses


Are those reimbursements subject to taxes?



Do I get benefit contributions when I’m paid even if I’m not working?

Yes, if you are being paid while on hiatus, the employer will make pension and health contributions on your behalf into the MPIPHP for that time paid.

How will the MPI trustees evaluate how our Plans can change to address the lack of hours due to the coronavirus precautions?  What is the process?

The IATSE is considering potential options to ensure there is no loss in coverage for any active participants as a result of loss of work due to the spreading pandemic. An analysis of all of this is being compiled and will be reviewed and then we will look to what potential viable mechanisms can be put in place. The Board of Directors of the MPI Plans will ultimately need to take any action determined to be viable. 


Meanwhile, you should be checking your health eligibility and have accurate information about how long you will be currently qualified and if you have a full bank of hours for an additional qualifying period.

I need mental health resources. Who can I reach out to?

Our resource page contains information about mental health coverage through the MPI Plans. These are trying times and some people are dealing with depression as a result. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please contact Scott George,


Click here for a list of Mental Health Resources.

I haven’t worked for an employer for 90 days yet, but can I use sick leave if I need to be out due to COVID-19?

If you do not have any sick pay available, no, you cannot.

* Not applicable in New York


What if I can’t pay my bills due to lack of work? What resources are available to help me?

Both the Motion Picture Television Fund and the Actor’s Fund have social services departments ready to assist entertainment industry members in need. Visit:

Nationwide: Actors Fund


Los Angeles: MPTF Coronavirus Info and Help


If you are a member of First Entertainment Credit Union, they have set up ways to assist.

If you are a member of the Actors Federal Credit Union, they have setup ways to assist. Actors Federal Credit Union:

Can I withdraw money from my IAP?

An ability to do so is under consideration by the Board of the MPI Plans. We will pass this information along to everyone if it becomes confirmed.

Contact your Field Rep

Get your questions answered! Ask a field rep:

  • Los Angeles

    Olie Amarillas
    Field Representative
    Send Email

    Jeff Graves
    Field Representative
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    Amarilis Gutierrez
    Field Representative
    Send Email

    Ann Hadsell
    Field Representative
    Send Email

    Eric Kench
    Field Representative
    Send Email

    Alenis Leon
    Field Representative
    Send Email

    Los Angeles Toll Free
    (800) 705-8700

  • New York

    Tara Borth
    Field Representative
    Send Email

    Jennifer Myers
    Eastern Executive Director
    Send Email

  • Georgia

    Brian Johnson
    Field Representative
    Send Email