How does New York regulate child entertainment professionals?

New York's Approach to Child Entertainment Professionals

In the bustling entertainment industry of New York, young talents often grace the stage, screen, and various media platforms. The state of New York takes the well-being of child performers seriously, formulating stringent regulations to ensure their safety, education, and fair treatment in the industry.

The legal framework governing child entertainment professionals in New York is primarily outlined in the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, Labor Law, and the compilation of regulations known as Part 186. These laws mandate provisions for the working hours, education, earnings, and health of minors in the entertainment sector.

Permit Requirements and Limitations

A critical component of New York's regulatory system is the requirement for child performers to obtain a permit before they can legally work. This permit ensures that all legal criteria are met, including age-appropriate working hours and conditions. For example, children under six years of age may not work before 9:30 am or after 11:30 pm on evenings preceding a school day.

Trust Accounts for Child Performers

New York law mandates that a portion of a child performer's earnings be set aside in a trust account commonly referred to as a Coogan Account. This requirement is designed to protect a portion of the child’s income for their future use.

Education Requirements

The state ensures that child performers do not neglect their education by requiring a set number of tutoring hours per week if they are missing school due to their work schedule. On-set tutors and compliance with educational standards are thus integral to the child performer's experience.

Health and Welfare Considerations

Regulations also stipulate that provisions be made for the health and welfare of child entertainers. This includes adequate rest and meal breaks, sanitary facilities, and a designated responsible person or chaperone when parents are not present.

Historically, these regulations stem from early 20th-century concerns about child labor in various industries. With the rise of young Hollywood stars like Shirley Temple, states recognized the need to specifically address the unique circumstances of children in entertainment. New York’s current laws reflect decades of evolution aimed at protecting these young professionals while allowing them to pursue their careers.

A Glimpse at Enforcement and Amendments

New York takes violations seriously. Employers who fail to comply with these regulations face penalties which can include fines and restrictions on future use of child performers. The state regularly updates its guidelines to adapt to the ever-evolving nature of the entertainment industry.