Can I Ask My Former Employer to Be Compensated for Taking Part in a Company Video?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“A couple of years ago my former employer asked me to take part in shooting a video advert to promote its mandate. I was then approached by one of my superiors who asked me to participate in the shooting of the advert video which was later aired in the national television. I never received any kind of reward for taking part in the advert though some years later some other employees participated in the videos made by my company, they received rewards in terms of promotions for their participation which I never got. So my question is: though I am no longer working for the same company at the moment, can I proceed with asking the same company to reward me for my participation in film advert since at the time I undertook the assignment it was not in my job description?”

You’re question doesn’t really seem like a legal one, but yes you can certainly ask to be compensated for your participation in the company’s videos. It’s unlikely, however, that they would reward you as you did not negotiate this arrangement upfront and some time has passed since the advertisement was filmed and aired.

Typically, before any type of film or photograph is displayed publicly, the producers will have the persons being featured in the production to sign a model release. A model release is essentially a legal document that gives the company using the media permission to use your image, and it usually outlines any type of compensation associated with their use of your image. Without a model release (or your consent otherwise), the publisher/producer of your image may be civilly liable for privacy violations; however, the actual rules vary depending on the state you’re in. That said, you allowing yourself to be filmed with the knowledge that the media would be used publicly could be considered implied consent, and would prevent you from any recovery in court. If you feel you have some sort of claim against your former employer, you should consult with a qualified entertainment attorney in your area who will be better able to advise you about your rights.