Liability Waivers in the Pandemic: A Producer’s Guide Part 1

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If your production company has finally decided to get back to set for filming, you may be worried about liability. With the ongoing pandemic, going back to set puts your team and everyone on set at risk of being infected. As a producer, you may be worried about being held liable for any incidents on set when it comes to COVID-19.

If you are unsure of what to do, this article is for you. In this two-part series, we cover what you can do as a producer. In the first part, we cover liability and what makes a good waiver. Make sure to watch out for part two, where we discuss alternative solutions.

Who Is Liable?

Regardless of the situation, it is common practice that the producers and production companies are held liable for incidents on set. When it comes to COVID-19, this does not make it any different.

Usually, production companies may have a waiver of liability to help protect them on set. For incidents that occur, they have this agreement with the employees to try and minimize the damage they may have to cover for.

Also Read: For Podcasters: 3 Legal Steps You Should Know and Consider

While you may think that this same thing can be done in the case of a COVID-19 infection, that may not be the case. This liability waiver can only cover minor or smaller mistakes, but not gross negligence like an infectious disease.

Does This Mean A Waiver Is No Longer Applicable?

It does not necessarily mean that you can no longer have a waiver signed by your employees. In fact, it is still encouraged that you do so. However, it should not be a waiver removing all sorts of liability from your company. If you want your waiver to be honored by the law, there are some things you must follow.

Clear Waiver

When creating a waiver of liability, you must ensure that it is clearly stated that there may be some risks at going back to work. Be sure to mention that your company is doing its best to mitigate any risks that the employees may be at.

Also Read: 6 Legal Agreements All Screenwriters Need to Know

Separate Document

You must also ensure that you are creating a separate document for your waiver. While it may be tempting to just include a clause in the contract, this will not work well. It may come off as misleading and confusing for the employees signing the contract.

Avoid Being Unreasonable

Some waivers may come off as unreasonable and beneficial only for the production company. Ideally, you may want to approach the waiver in a way that is beneficial for both parties involved. Try to ensure that you are not taking advantage of your employees through your waivers.


While liability may be a concern for most production companies, it will be less of a worry. As long as you are aware of the purpose of the creation of your liability waiver and how it should be written, you can steer clear of any issues.

Aside from knowing how to create a proper waiver of liability, watch out for the second part of this article to learn alternative solutions. To ensure the success of your production, be sure to take extra measures and precautions in every aspect.

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