H.E.L.P. Navigating Unemployment during COVID-19

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Public Counsel has teamed up with Legendary Entertainment, a global entertainment studio, to launch a free legal webinar series to help California's entertainment workers access unemployment benefits and other support under the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act. The unemployment assistance series – called Helping Entertainment Labor and Professionals (HELP) – will offer free webinars to provide members of the entertainment community a resource to understand available unemployment benefits and provide up-to-date information.

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Production WorkersThe live webinars feature representatives who are able to guide participants through available benefits packages and give instructions on how to access government supports.These trainings are free and open to the public.

The abrupt shutdown of the entertainment industry has meant sudden unemployment for thousands of the workers that power the entertainment business. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) – the largest union representing production crew members – estimates that up to 95% of its 150,000 members are out of work due to the pandemic. Additionally, there are countless non-union production workers affected by the shutdown, such as production assistants, vendors, and office workers. In Los Angeles County, the entertainment industry is responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs, and contributes billions to our local economy.

Public Counsel has stepped up to collaborate with Legendary to ensure workers in Los Angeles receive extra support during this confusing and troubling time. The entertainment industry is a cornerstone of the Los Angeles economy, and Public Counsel is committed to assisting our neighbors and local families who are reeling from this unprecedented economic crisis.

In addition to supporting entertainment industry workers, Public Counsel is providing resources to nonprofits, child care providers, and small businesses, and has worked with local partners to create an emergency fund for street vendors. The full array of its regular legal services are being provided through remote means, and Public Counsel has launched a series of advocacy campaigns to ensure Los Angeles’s most vulnerable groups are protected.