For Immediate Release
June 29, 2022
AB 437 Let Actors Work Act, Authored by Assemblymember Kalra, Prevails in Second Senate Committee
SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, AB 437, the Let Actors Work (LAW) Act, authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 9-1 vote. The bill will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee next.
“For too long, actors have been held under the control of an industry that uses its leverage to dictate their ability to work and their career trajectory as artists,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “I am grateful we prevailed in both Senate policy committees despite heavy industry opposition and remain optimistic that we can end outdated and overly restrictive contract terms for artists.”
Actors have limited windows of opportunity to practice their craft, earn a living, and support their families. Prohibitions on their ability to work between television seasons leave no room to establish and sustain a career. The LAW Act will provide actors in California the freedom to take on additional work as long as there is no material conflict of interest with their original employer. The bill also limits the unfair practice of production studios unilaterally holding artists off the job market for unreasonable periods of time.
“A huge thank you to Assemblymember Ash Kalra for introducing this progressive bill, to the California Senate Judiciary Committee members for recognizing that actors should be able to enjoy the same freedoms as all other Californians, and to all of the union members and allies who showed their support for California’s entertainment workers! Let’s keep the momentum going," said SAG-AFTRA President, Fran Drescher.
AB 437 is sponsored by California Labor Federation, Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), and Music Artists Coalition. The companion bill to afford recording artist contract protections under the “seven-year statute,” AB 983, came up short of passing the Senate Judiciary Committee and was sponsored by California Labor Federation, Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), Music Artists Coalition, Songwriters of North America, and Black Music Action Coalition.
Assemblymember Ash Kalra was first elected to the California Legislature in 2016, representing the 27th District, which encompasses approximately half of San Jose and includes all of downtown. In 2020, he was re-elected to his third term. Assemblymember Kalra is the Chair of the State Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and also currently serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Judiciary, Transportation, and Water, Parks, and Wildlife committees.