Congress has officially passed a third package of emergency relief legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security “CARES” Act. This bill will offer some immediate relief for our Members and all Entertainment Workers across the Nation. As you know, the COVID-19 situation has caused our Members to see our Industry grind to a halt overnight. In conjunction with the IATSE’s Petition, over 107,000 Entertainment Workers sent letters to Congress, urging the inclusion of our Industry in this relief package. I am pleased that the collective voice of all Entertainment Workers has been heard in Congress and we are grateful to all individual legislators that helped elevate the voices of all our Members in Washington, D.C.

The CARES Act contains the following key provisions:


Because Unemployment Insurance is partially funded by the federal government but administered by states, the changes in the CARES Act work in tandem with the existing Unemployment Insurance program in California.

  • The bill eliminates, through December 31, 2020, the one-week waiting period applicable to people who become eligible for Unemployment Insurance. (Governor Gavin Newsom already waived the waiting period for Unemployment Insurance recipients in California).
  • The legislation adds an additional $600 per week to the amount of Unemployment Insurance each recipient would ordinarily receive. In California, the maximum weekly amount a person may receive from the Unemployment Insurance program is $450 per week. The amount a person receives under California’s program is based on the individual’s recent earnings before the claim for Unemployment Insurance was filed.
    • The additional $600 per week will remain in effect through July 31, 2020.
      • Examples: An individual who is entitled to $300 per week under California’s Unemployment Insurance program will now receive $900 per week. An individual who is entitled to the maximum of $450 per week under California’s program will now receive $1,050 per week.
  • The legislation increases the maximum number of weeks that an individual may receive Unemployment Insurance by an additional 13 weeks, through December 31, 2020. In California, the current maximum is 26 weeks. Therefore, individuals may now receive Unemployment Insurance benefits for 39 weeks, but only through the end of 2020.
  • The legislation provides for Unemployment Insurance, through December 31, 2020, for certain individuals who are ordinarily ineligible for benefits. This includes individuals with limited work history and people who are self-employed and/or independent contractors.
  • Creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program to provide payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency. This includes entertainment workers with limited work history and scheduled, or offered, work that did not commence.


  • Provides one-time recovery checks of $1,200 for all individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000; $112,500 for head of household.
  • All married couples, with adjusted gross income up to $150,000 who file a joint return, are eligible for $2,400.
    • Those amounts increase by $500 for every child.
    • The rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold.
    • The amount is completely phased-out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household filers, and $198,000 for joint filers.
  • Waives the 10-percent early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes.


  • Small businesses are eligible for emergency grants of up to $10,000 to maintain payroll, provide paid sick leave, pay rent/mortgage, etc.
  • Small businesses and 501(c)(3)s will also be eligible for loans on a more favorable basis than normal SBA loans.
  • Loan proceeds used to keep employees on payroll and pay mortgage/rent mortgage and utilities will be forgiven.
  • There are many additional provisions to help small businesses keep their doors open and their employees on the payroll.


  • All student loan and interest payments can be deferred through September 30, 2020 without penalty for federally owned student loans only (note this does not impact private loans, Perkins loans, and loans held by a bank).

The passing of this economic relief package and the inclusion of the hardworking Members in our Industry is a great stride to be celebrated. We know this package is not perfect, and there are certainly more needs and relief measures to be addressed, however I am proud of ALL Entertainment Industry Workers across our Nation that ensured our collective voice was heard, and will continue to be heard.

Make no mistake, our work is not done. As this COVID-19 situation continues, so will the efforts on our end to continually support our Members every step of the way. I know you are all anxious to get back to the work you love, but for now, we must abide by the mandates that will protect our communities and our families. I hope the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security “CARES” Act can offer some amount of relief to you and your family at this time.


Please continue to stay safe and connected to our channels of communication for more important updates. If there is anything more we can do to help you at this time, please let us know.

In Solidarity,

Steve Dayan


Teamsters Local 399