Hey Everyone -
Today I turned down a non-union job because of a particularly aggressive ‘Forced Arbitration’ clause in the deal memo contract I was asked to sign ahead of time.
• Some quick info -
‘Forced arbitration’ means that you waive your right to sue or take any claims to trial by judge or jury. Instead you have to take your claim to an ‘independent arbitrator’ who will decide once and for all what the outcome will be. If you don’t like the outcome, too bad, you have no other recourse.
• Here’s what that could mean for us -
Let’s say you’re in an accident on set and you have to sue to pay for medical care, lost earnings, pain & suffering, etc. Instead of suing, you’re forced to go into arbitration with an arbitrator who has been approved by the Production Company you’re filing a claim against. Instead of a judge or jury, they’ll decide how much (if anything) you should get. If they deny your claim, too bad, there’s nowhere else to turn to.
This deal memo was with a big company and the producers said they were not allowed to change any language. Same line as always - ‘everyone is signing this: if you won’t sign, you can’t work.’
So everyone, thoughts? I turned this one down because it was particularly bad, but we sign things like this all the time. I don’t think you have to worry about it on union jobs because the basic contract covers it and the union will, hopefully, have your back.
Has anyone one else challenged this and succeeded?
A little more background info - http://tinyurl.com/pnulpnr