Steven C. Beer serves as a media and entertainment attorney in the firm of Franklin Weinrib Ruddell and Vassallo in New York City. A partner in the firm, Steven C. Beer also stands out as the author of the 2015 book Your Child’s Career in Music and Entertainment – A Prudent Parent’s Guide.
Because child actors are not covered by federal labor laws, each state has the jurisdiction to enact any legislation it feels prudent to protect young performers. In the state of New York, any performer under the age of 18 must have a child performer permit to accept any role outside of an educational setting or private home. To obtain such a permit, the parents must provide written consent, proof of the child’s age, educational status verification, and a certificate stating that the child is sufficiently fit to perform his or her duties.
The parents of a child performer are also responsible for establishing a trust account in accordance with the Coogan Law of 1939. Named after former child star Jackie Coogan, the law classifies all of a child performer’s earnings as property of the child. It also requires 15 percent of said earnings to go into a qualifying trust account, which the child can access after he or she reaches adulthood.