More than 50 people, most of them directors, have co-signed a letter urging the Directors Guild of America to improve its parental leave policies. Famous names including Amy Poehler, Ava DuVernay and Reese Witherspoon have joined the campaign.
Jessica Dimmock started the campaign to address a policy that says guild members have to earn a minimum amount from DGA jobs to qualify for the guild's insurance. Right now, that minimum is around $36,000 a year. Dimmock says taking time off to be with her new baby meant she couldn't meet that annual minimum and that she lost her benefits. And now she's fighting to make sure that doesn't happen again.
Dimmock wants the organization to expand the qualifying period for new moms to give them more time to meet insurance requirements.
In her letter, Dimmock wrote: "New mothers should be afforded additional time to make their yearly minimum in the year that they give birth. This provides new parents the opportunity to take the time they need to physically care for their child as well as recover and recuperate. Women will return to their work better equipped to handle the challenges of balancing parenting and work and better equipped to delve into their future projects. This should apply for adoptive parents as well."
A spokesperson for the DGA told the L.A. Times "the matter was recently brought to the DGA, and we have asked the Plans to examine it."
The letter went public ahead of the 72nd DGA Awards on Sunday.