The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has salvaged a small payday for workers who got stiffed by a film production company in Portland last year.
BOLI, the state agency that regulates workplace issues, provided $17,835 in back wages for 11 unpaid employees who had worked on the film "V Force: New Dawn of V.I.C.T.O.R.Y."
The film, which starred Billy Zane and Bruce Dern, was being shot last year, but production shut down in August. After the producers announced they was unable to meet payroll, 15 workers filed claims with the labor bureau's wage security fund.
Two of the film crew workers were independent contractors and therefore ineligible for Wage Security Fund payments (two other cases are still being investigated), but BOLI, led by Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, says other workers who may not have yet filed claims may also be eligible for compensation.
"The crew on this film we believe was over 100 people," BOLI spokesman Charlie Burr tells WW. "The quicker they file with us, the quicker we can verify those wages owed."
Oregon is one of only two states to have a dedicated wage security fund, intended to cover wages owed to employees by businesses that have closed without completing payment. Maine has something similar, but is limited to only covering 2 weeks of pay before business closure—Oregon will cover up to 60 days.
The fund is financed through a portion of the state's employment tax paid by employers.