TV Channel To Offer Health Benefits to Freelance Staff
E! Entertainment Television recently decided to begin providing health insurance benefits to freelance producers for the channel, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The decision follows meetings with representatives of the Producers Guild of America, a trade association that threatened to file suit against E! in response to a history of complaints from employees over insufficient benefits.
Many cable channels have replaced permanent staffs with freelance employees who are ineligible for health care coverage and other benefits.
To qualify for the new health care benefits, freelance producers must work at least 200 consecutive days for the channel.
The health benefits, along with new standards for overtime pay, could cost E! several million dollars, according to the Times (Verrier, Los Angeles Times, 10/2).