Local 479 is NOT your employer
New members of IATSE Local 479 need to understand that, while the union provides many services to you, it is not your employer. To be clear: the union is not your employer, the union is not your employer, and the union is not your employer.
The reason that this concept is worth repeating is that a failure to understand it may have a negative effect on your personal business, from your ability to draw unemployment to a timely closing on the purchase of a new home.
As has been explained in the article Lending Solutions for Members Seeking a Mortgage, Secretary / Treasurer Frank Hatcher receives frequent requests from mortgage companies for a Verification of Employment letter for members of our local who have informed these mortgage companies that Local 479 is their employer.
(Local 479 is not your employer)
Since the Local does not employ its members the Secretary/Treasurer will be unable to legally provide verification of any employment information a lender may be seeking. The information that Local 479 cannot provide includes a history of employment or a member’s start date with a production. The Local can’t even provide a confirmation as to whether one of its members is currently employed.
These are all things that an employer are allowed to do legally.
Local 479 is not your employer – it cannot and will not provide this information.
If you list Local 479 as your employer when filing for unemployment insurance between shows your payments will be delayed until you provide them with your actual employer’s contact information.
Avoid this misunderstanding and avoid delaying the loan process by weeks!!
Local 479 is not your employer.
So who is?
Production Company / Studio
Don’t tell your mortgage company or the unemployment office that you are an employee of a big film studio or a television network, because this is 99.9% likely to be inaccurate.
Production Companies and Studios are not your employer.
(also, Local 479 is still not your employer)
So Who Is Your Employer?
Look on your pay stub and note that the payroll company is listed as your Employer of Record.
Your payroll company is your Employer of Record.
If you are seeking a Verification of Employment letter you need to contact your payroll company. Some will allow you to make this request online, while others request that you send them a vintage fax or a letter by post.