Recent events have highlighted ongoing systemic compensation and safety problems in the entertainment industry. As a member of this industry Megara Inc. (“Megara”) is committed to leading, advocating, and implementing changes to address these issues. Live entertainment is a unique subset within the industry, and while some productions are engaged with unions, a vast majority do not offer those standard protections. We hope the details of this policy both highlight and address these issues and provide a blueprint for others to follow.
Overall issues in the Entertainment Industry:
- Long workdays (14+ hours) and weeks (60+ hours), with no breaks between productions.
- Below livable wages.
- Pay discrimination and wage gaps.
- Lack of diversity.
- Hostile work environment.
Issues specific to Live Entertainment:
- Lack of basic worker protections, such as worker’s compensation.
- Unsafe work environments.
- Few certifications or trainings.
- Exploitative labor practices.
In the New York market alone 1.4% of all workers employed worked within the entertainment industry. This is second only to Los Angeles. Simply put, 14 out of every 1,000 people in New York work in the entertainment industry. Megara has taken the following steps to address the existing issues:
No worker shall exceed fourteen (14) hours worked in any single day and shall never be forced to work continuous productions without substantial breaks in between. No worker shall work sixty (60) or more hours in any given calendar week. All workers are guaranteed a sixty (60) minute lunch break.
All employees of Megara shall be entitled to a livable wage whether they are salaried or hourly employees. Such wages shall be in accordance with available data and research but shall be no less than $15/hr for hourly seasonal employees, $20/hr for hourly part-time or full-time employees, and $58,500/yearly for salaried full-time employees. Megara advocates and encourages all entertainment employers to follow a similar guideline for wages.
All salaries and wages are paid in accordance to position tiers and are irrespective of an individual’s sex, gender, race, religion, or other protected class. Increases in compensation are determined by length of employment with Megara and are consistent with predefined tiered schedules.
Megara has a detailed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statement that can be found here.
Megara is dedicated to creating a safe environment for all of its employees. This extends to their safety regarding interactions with third parties. We have a detailed harassment policy that addresses many relevant concerns regarding the work environment. Safety is a strong priority for any production and we strive to exceed expectations by having a robust safety policy that is designed to prevent accidents and injuries.
Though others choose to hire many seasonal staff as independent contractors, Megara hires its seasonal employees who are not covered under another corporation partnership as part-time employees and holds a Worker’s Compensation policy tailored to the unique needs of the entertainment industry. We also provide access to other services to ensure the well-being of our employees. We support all groups, guilds and non-profits seeking to improve the safety of performers and workers in the entertainment industry. Full-time employees have access to full medical, dental, and vision insurances as well as additional coverages for accidents, disability, and life insurances.
Our industry is driven first and foremost by passion. The dedicated professionals who bring productions to life have a deep love for the work they are doing. Unfortunately it is common for others to take advantage of this passion and use it as an opportunity to exploit their labor and talents. Our commitment to fair pay and treatment is paramount to our corporate ethos. All cast and crew are paid for rehearsal and performance times. Mandatory meetings and trainings are compensated as well. We understand those who choose to work with us deserve a high degree of respect and trust from us and we pledge to uphold that trust.