New York City casting directors seek to join labor union

Certain New York workers are in jobs where they are prevented from forming a union. The inability to unionize can be detrimental to collective bargaining and keep workers from earning as much as they could if they formed a union. When there is an attempt on the part of a group of workers to form a union, they will sometimes meet resistance. Even before garnering enough support to move forward, it is imperative to have legal assistance from a law firm that is experienced in union representation.

Casting directors are seeking to unionize and are receiving help from other unions in the city. The New York City Central Labor Council's executive board notified the Broadway League that they are joining with the casting directors and their union in an ongoing dispute it is embroiled in with the League. The League had filed a lawsuit against seven casting directors. The lawsuit states that the casting directors had come together in a cartel to raise the rates Broadway producers are paying. The casting agents state that they are seeking to get benefits for its members. The Labor Council represents approximately 1.3 million people in New York.

The disagreement stems from the attempt on the part of casting agencies to unionize so they can negotiate from a stronger position to get benefits for members. The League says that the casting directors are independent contractors. Under that definition, because they are not employees of the shows for which they are hired, they would not receive benefits.

The dispute as to whether certain workers are employees or independent contractors is not unusual. The designation can make a substantial difference in their rights under labor law for a variety of benefits. When there is this type of disagreement regarding classification or a union fight over certain rights, having legal assistance from a firm that is experienced in labor law is a must. For people who find themselves in a similar circumstance as a union or are seeking to form a union, a lawyer can be of help.

Source:, "New York unions pledge to stand behind casting directors," Caitlin Huston, Dec. 8, 2017

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