Talent Agencies Act

California Labor Code 1700


Scope and Definitions

1700. As used in this chapter, "person" means any individual, company, society, firm, partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, manager, or their agents or employees.

1700.1. As used in this chapter:

(a) "Theatrical engagement" means any engagement or employment of a person as an actor, performer, or entertainer in a circus, vaudeville, theatrical, or other entertainment, exhibition, or performance.

(b) "Motion picture engagement" means any engagement or employment of a person as an actor, actress, director, scenario, or continuity writer, camera man, or in any capacity concerned with the making of motion pictures.

(c) "Emergency engagement" means an engagement which has to be performed within 24 hours from the time when the contract for such engagement is made.

1700.2. (a) As used in this chapter, "fee" means any of the following:

(1) Any money or other valuable consideration paid or promised to be paid for services rendered or to be rendered by any person conducting the business of a talent agency under this chapter.

(2) Any money received by any person in excess of that which has been paid out by him or her for transportation, transfer of baggage, or board and lodging for any applicant for employment.

(3) The difference between the amount of money received by any person who furnished employees, performers, or entertainers for circus, vaudeville, theatrical, or other entertainments, exhibitions, or performances, and the amount paid by him or her to the employee, performer, or entertainer.

(b) As used in this chapter, "registration fee" means any charge made, or attempted to be made, to an artist for any of the following purposes:

(1) Registering or listing an applicant for employment in the entertainment industry.

(2) Letter writing.

(3) Photographs, film strips, video tapes, or other reproductions of the applicant.

(4) Costumes for the applicant.

(5) Any activity of a like nature.

1700.3. As used in this chapter:

(a) "License" means a license issued by the Labor Commissioner to carry on the business of a talent agency under this chapter.

(b) "Licensee" means a talent agency which holds a valid, unrevoked, and unforfeited license under this chapter.

1700.4. (a) "Talent agency" means a person or corporation who engages in the occupation of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist or artists, except that the activities of procuring, offering, or promising to procure recording contracts for an artist or artists shall not of itself subject a person or corporation to regulation and licensing under this chapter. Talent agencies may, in addition, counsel or direct artists in the development of their professional careers.

(b) "Artists" means actors and actresses rendering services on the legitimate stage and in the production of motion pictures, radio artists, musical artists, musical organizations, directors of legitimate stage, motion picture and radio productions, musical directors, writers, cinematographers, composers, lyricists, arrangers, models, and other artists and persons rendering professional services in motion picture, theatrical, radio, television and other entertainment enterprises.

Licenses

1700.5. No person shall engage in or carry on the occupation of a talent agency without first procuring a license therefor from the Labor Commissioner. The license shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the office of the licensee. The license number shall be referred to in any advertisement for the purpose of the solicitation of talent for the talent agency. Licenses issued for talent agencies prior to the effective date of this chapter shall not be invalidated thereby, but renewals of those licenses shall be obtained in the manner prescribed by this chapter.

1700.6. A written application for a license shall be made to the Labor Commissioner in the form prescribed by him or her and shall state:

(a) The name and address of the applicant.

(b) The street and number of the building or place where the business of the talent agency is to be conducted.

(c) The business or occupation engaged in by the applicant for at least two years immediately preceding the date of application.

(d) If the applicant is other than a corporation, the names and addresses of all persons, except bona fide employees on stated salaries, financially interested, either as partners, associates, or profit sharers, in the operation of the talent agency in question, together with the amount of their respective interests. If the applicant is a corporation, the corporate name, the names, residential addresses, and telephone numbers of all officers of the corporation, the names of all persons exercising managing responsibility in the applicant or licensee's office, and the names and addresses of all persons having a financial interest of 10 percent or more in the business and the percentage of financial interest owned by those persons. The application shall be accompanied by two sets of fingerprints of the applicant and affidavits of at least two reputable residents of the city or county in which the business of the talent agency is to be conducted who have known, or been associated with, the applicant for two years, that the applicant is a person of good moral character or, in the case of a corporation, has a reputation for fair dealing.

1700.7. Upon receipt of an application for a license the Labor Commissioner may cause an investigation to be made as to the character and responsibility of the applicant and of the premises designated in such application as the place in which it is proposed to conduct the business of the talent agency.

1700.8. The commissioner upon proper notice and hearing may refuse to grant a license. The proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing at Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and the commissioner shall have all the power granted therein.

1700.9. No license shall be granted to conduct the business of a talent agency:

(a) In a place that would endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the artist.

(b) To a person whose license has been revoked within three years from the date of application.

1700.10. The license when first issued shall run to the next birthday of the applicant, and each license shall then be renewed within the 30 days preceding the licensee's birthday and shall run from birthday to birthday. In case the applicant is a partnership, such license shall be renewed within the 30 days preceding the birthday of the oldest partner. If the applicant is a corporation, such license shall be renewed within the 30 days preceding the anniversary of the date the corporation was lawfully formed. Renewal shall require the filing of an application for renewal, a renewal bond, and the payment of the annual license fee, but the Labor Commissioner may demand that a new application or new bond be submitted. If the applicant or licensee desires, in addition, a branch office license, he shall file an application in accordance with the provisions of this section as heretofore set forth.

1700.11. All applications for renewal shall state the names and addresses of all persons, except bona fide employees on stated salaries, financially interested either as partners, associates or profit sharers, in the operation of the business of the talent agency.

1700.12. A filing fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) shall be paid to the Labor Commissioner at the time the application for issuance of a talent agency license is filed. In addition to the filing fee required for application for issuance of a talent agency license, every talent agency shall pay to the Labor Commissioner annually at the time a license is issued or renewed:

(a) A license fee of two hundred twenty-five dollars ($225).

(b) Fifty dollars ($50) for each branch office maintained by the talent agency in this state.

1700.13. A filing fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) shall be paid to the Labor Commissioner at the time application for consent to the transfer or assignment of a talent agency license is made but no license fee shall be required upon the assignment or transfer of a license. The location of a talent agency shall not be changed without the written consent of the Labor Commissioner.

1700.14. Whenever an application for a license or renewal is made, and application processing pursuant to this chapter has not been completed, the Labor Commissioner may, at his or her discretion, issue a temporary or provisional license valid for a period not exceeding 90 days, and subject, where appropriate, to the automatic and summary revocation by the Labor Commissioner. Otherwise, the conditions for issuance or renewal shall meet the requirements of Section 1700.6.

1700.15. A talent agency shall also deposit with the Labor Commissioner, prior to the issuance or renewal of a license, a surety bond in the penal sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

1700.16. Such surety bonds shall be payable to the people of the State of California, and shall be conditioned that the person applying for the license will comply with this chapter and will pay all sums due any individual or group of individuals when such person or his representative or agent has received such sums, and will pay all damages occasioned to any person by reason of misstatement, misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, or any unlawful acts or omissions of the licensed talent agency, or its agents or employees, while acting within the scope of their employment.

1700.18. All moneys collected for licenses and all fines collected for violations of the provisions of this chapter shall be paid into the State Treasury and credited to the General Fund.

1700.19. Each license shall contain all of the following:

(a) The name of the licensee.

(b) A designation of the city, street, and number of the premises in which the licensee is authorized to carry on the business of a talent agency.

(c) The number and date of issuance of the license.

1700.20. No license shall protect any other than the person to whom it is issued nor any places other than those designated in the license. No license shall be transferred or assigned to any person unless written consent is obtained from the Labor Commissioner.

1700.20a. The Labor Commissioner may issue to a person eligible therefor a certificate of convenience to conduct the business of a talent agency where the person licensed to conduct such talent agency business has died or has had a conservator of the estate appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction. Such a certificate of convenience may be denominated an estate certificate of convenience.

1700.20b. To be eligible for a certificate of convenience, a person shall be either:

(a) The executor or administrator of the estate of a deceased person licensed to conduct the business of a talent agency.

(b) If no executor or administrator has been appointed, the surviving spouse or heir otherwise entitled to conduct the business of such deceased licensee.

(c) The conservator of the estate of a person licensed to conduct the business of a talent agency. Such estate certificate of convenience shall continue in force for a period of not to exceed 90 days, and shall be renewable for such period as the Labor Commissioner may deem appropriate, pending the disposal of the talent agency license or the procurement of a new license under the provisions of this chapter.

1700.21. The Labor Commissioner may revoke or suspend any license when it is shown that any of the following occur:

(a) The licensee or his or her agent has violated or failed to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter.

(b) The licensee has ceased to be of good moral character.

(c) The conditions under which the license was issued have changed or no longer exist.

(d) The licensee has made any material misrepresentation or false statement in his or her application for a license.

1700.22. Before revoking or suspending any license, the Labor Commissioner shall afford the holder of such license an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. The proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing at Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the commissioner shall have all the powers granted therein.

Operation and Management

1700.23. Every talent agency shall submit to the Labor Commissioner a form or forms of contract to be utilized by such talent agency in entering into written contracts with artists for the employment of the services of such talent agency by such artists, and secure the approval of the Labor Commissioner thereof. Such approval shall not be withheld as to any proposed form of contract unless such proposed form of contract is unfair, unjust and oppressive to the artist. Each such form of contract, except under the conditions specified in Section 1700.45, shall contain an agreement by the talent agency to refer any controversy between the artist and the talent agency relating to the terms of the contract to the Labor Commissioner for adjustment. There shall be printed on the face of the contract in prominent type the following: "This talent agency is licensed by the Labor Commissioner of the State of California."

1700.24. Every talent agency shall file with the Labor Commissioner a schedule of fees to be charged and collected in the conduct of that occupation, and shall also keep a copy of the schedule posted in a conspicuous place in the office of the talent agency. Changes in the schedule may be made from time to time, but no fee or change of fee shall become effective until seven days after the date of filing thereof with the Labor Commissioner and until posted for not less than seven days in a conspicuous place in the office of the talent agency.

1700.25. (a) A licensee who receives any payment of funds on behalf of an artist shall immediately deposit that amount in a trust fund account maintained by him or her in a bank or other recognized depository. The funds, less the licensee's commission, shall be disbursed to the artist within 30 days after receipt. However, notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the licensee may retain the funds beyond 30 days of receipt in either of the following circumstances:

(1) To the extent necessary to offset an obligation of the artist to the talent agency that is then due and owing.

(2) When the funds are the subject of a controversy pending before the Labor Commissioner under Section 1700.44 concerning a fee alleged to be owed by the artist to the licensee.

(b) A separate record shall be maintained of all funds received on behalf of an artist and the record shall further indicate the disposition of the funds.

(c) If disputed by the artist and the dispute is referred to the Labor Commissioner, the failure of a licensee to disburse funds to an artist within 30 days of receipt shall constitute a "controversy" within the meaning of Section 1700.44.

(d) Any funds specified in subdivision (a) that are the subject of a controversy pending before the Labor Commissioner under Section 1700.44 shall be retained in the trust fund account specified in subdivision (a) and shall not be used by the licensee for any purpose until the controversy is determined by the Labor Commissioner or settled by the parties.

(e) If the Labor Commissioner finds, in proceedings under Section 1700.44, that the licensee's failure to disburse funds to an artist within the time required by subdivision (a) was a willful violation, the Labor Commissioner may, in addition to other relief under Section 1700.44, order the following:

(1) Award reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing artist.

(2) Award interest to the prevailing artist on the funds wrongfully withheld at the rate of 10 percent per annum during the period of the violation.

(f) Nothing in subdivision (c), (d), or (e) shall be deemed to supersede Section 1700.45 or to affect the enforceability of a contractual arbitration provision meeting the criteria of Section 1700.45.

1700.26. Every talent agency shall keep records in a form approved by the Labor Commissioner, in which shall be entered all of the following:

(1) The name and address of each artist employing the talent agency.

(2) The amount of fee received from the artist.

(3) The employments secured by the artist during the term of the contract between the artist and the talent agency, and the amount of compensation received by the artists pursuant thereto.

(4) Any other information which the Labor Commissioner requires. No talent agency, its agent or employees, shall make any false entry in any records.

1700.27. All books, records, and other papers kept pursuant to this chapter by any talent agency shall be open at all reasonable hours to the inspection of the Labor Commissioner and his agents. Every talent agency shall furnish to the Labor Commissioner upon request a true copy of such books, records, and papers or any portion thereof, and shall make such reports as the Labor Commissioner prescribes.

1700.28. Every talent agency shall post in a conspicuous place in the office of such talent agency a printed copy of this chapter and of such other statutes as may be specified by the Labor Commissioner. Such copies shall also contain the name and address of the officer charged with the enforcement of this chapter. The Labor Commissioner shall furnish to talent agencies printed copies of any statute required to be posted under the provisions of this section.

1700.29. The Labor Commissioner may, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 4 (commencing at Section 11370), Part 1, Division 3, Title 2 of the Government Code, adopt, amend, and repeal such rules and regulations as are reasonably necessary for the purpose of enforcing and administering this chapter and as are not inconsistent with this chapter.

1700.30. No talent agency shall sell, transfer, or give away to any person other than a director, officer, manager, employee, or shareholder of the talent agency any interest in or the right to participate in the profits of the talent agency without the written consent of the Labor Commissioner.

1700.31. No talent agency shall knowingly issue a contract for employment containing any term or condition which, if complied with, would be in violation of law, or attempt to fill an order for help to be employed in violation of law.

1700.32. No talent agency shall publish or cause to be published any false, fraudulent, or misleading information, representation, notice, or advertisement. All advertisements of a talent agency by means of cards, circulars, or signs, and in newspapers and other publications, and all letterheads, receipts, and blanks shall be printed and contain the licensed name and address of the talent agency and the words "talent agency." No talent agency shall give any false information or make any false promises or representations concerning an engagement or employment to any applicant who applies for an engagement or employment.

1700.33. No talent agency shall send or cause to be sent, any artist to any place where the health, safety, or welfare of the artist could be adversely affected, the character of which place the talent agency could have ascertained upon reasonable inquiry.

1700.34. No talent agency shall send any minor to any saloon or place where intoxicating liquors are sold to be consumed on the premises.

1700.35. No talent agency shall knowingly permit any persons of bad character, prostitutes, gamblers, intoxicated persons, or procurers to frequent, or be employed in, the place of business of the talent agency.

1700.36. No talent agency shall accept any application for employment made by or on behalf of any minor, as defined by subdivision (c) of Section 1286, or shall place or assist in placing any such minor in any employment whatever in violation of Part 4

(commencing with Section 1171).

1700.37. A minor cannot disaffirm a contract, otherwise valid, entered into during minority, either during the actual minority of the minor entering into such contract or at any time thereafter, with a duly licensed talent agency as defined in Section 1700.4 to secure him engagements to render artistic or creative services in motion pictures, television, the production of phonograph records, the legitimate or living stage, or otherwise in the entertainment field including, but without being limited to, services as an actor, actress, dancer, musician, comedian, singer, or other performer or entertainer, or as a writer, director, producer, production executive, choreographer, composer, conductor or designer, the blank form of which has been approved by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to Section 1700.23, where such contract has been approved by the superior court of the county where such minor resides or is employed. Such approval may be given by the superior court on the petition of either party to the contract after such reasonable notice to the other party thereto as may be fixed by said court, with opportunity to such other party to appear and be heard.

1700.38. No talent agency shall knowingly secure employment for an artist in any place where a strike, lockout, or other labor trouble exists, without notifying the artist of such conditions.

1700.39. No talent agency shall divide fees with an employer, an agent or other employee of an employer.

1700.40. (a) No talent agency shall collect a registration fee. In the event that a talent agency shall collect from an artist a fee or expenses for obtaining employment for the artist, and the artist shall fail to procure the employment, or the artist shall fail to be paid for the employment, the talent agency shall, upon demand therefor, repay to the artist the fee and expenses so collected. Unless repayment thereof is made within 48 hours after demand therefor, the talent agency shall pay to the artist an additional sum equal to the amount of the fee.

(b) No talent agency may refer an artist to any person, firm, or corporation in which the talent agency has a direct or indirect financial interest for other services to be rendered to the artist, including, but not limited to, photography, audition tapes, demonstration reels or similar materials, business management, personal management, coaching, dramatic school, casting or talent brochures, agency-client directories, or other printing.

(c) No talent agency may accept any referral fee or similar compensation from any person, association, or corporation providing services of any type expressly set forth in subdivision (b) to an artist under contract with the talent agency.

1700.41. In cases where an artist is sent by a talent agency beyond the limits of the city in which the office of such talent agency is located upon the representation of such talent agency that employment of a particular type will there be available for the artist and the artist does not find such employment available, such talent agency shall reimburse the artist for any actual expenses incurred in going to and returning from the place where the artist has been so sent unless the artist has been otherwise so reimbursed.

1700.44. (a) In cases of controversy arising under this chapter, the parties involved shall refer the matters in dispute to the Labor Commissioner, who shall hear and determine the same, subject to an appeal within 10 days after determination, to the superior court where the same shall be heard de novo. To stay any award for money, the party aggrieved shall execute a bond approved by the superior court in a sum not exceeding twice the amount of the judgment. In all other cases the bond shall be in a sum of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and approved by the superior court. The Labor Commissioner may certify without a hearing that there is no controversy within the meaning of this section if he or she has by investigation established that there is no dispute as to the amount of the fee due. Service of the certification shall be made upon all parties concerned by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested and the certification shall become conclusive 10 days after the date of mailing if no objection has been filed with the Labor Commissioner during that period.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, failure of any person to obtain a license from the Labor Commissioner pursuant to this chapter shall not be considered a criminal act under any law of this state.

(c) No action or proceeding shall be brought pursuant to this chapter with respect to any violation which is alleged to have occurred more than one year prior to commencement of the action or proceeding.

(d) It is not unlawful for a person or corporation which is not licensed pursuant to this chapter to act in conjunction with, and at the request of, a licensed talent agency in the negotiation of an employment contract.

1700.45. Notwithstanding Section 1700.44, a provision in a contract providing for the decision by arbitration of any controversy under the contract or as to its existence, validity, construction, performance, nonperformance, breach, operation, continuance, or termination, shall be valid:

(a) If the provision is contained in a contract between a talent agency and a person for whom the talent agency under the contract undertakes to endeavor to secure employment, or

(b) If the provision is inserted in the contract pursuant to any rule, regulation, or contract of a bona fide labor union regulating the relations of its members to a talent agency, and

(c) If the contract provides for reasonable notice to the Labor Commissioner of the time and place of all arbitration hearings, and

(d) If the contract provides that the Labor Commissioner or his or her authorized representative has the right to attend all arbitration hearings. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any arbitration shall be governed by the provisions of Title 9 (commencing with Section 1280) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If there is an arbitration provision in a contract, the contract need not provide that the talent agency agrees to refer any controversy between the applicant and the talent agency regarding the terms of the contract to the Labor Commissioner for adjustment, and Section 1700.44 shall not apply to controversies pertaining to the contract. A provision in a contract providing for the decision by arbitration of any controversy arising under this chapter which does not meet the requirements of this section is not made valid by Section 1281 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

1700.47. It shall be unlawful for any licensee to refuse to represent any artist on account of that artist's race, color, creed, sex, national origin, religion, or handicap.