As a global fashion center, New York attracts hordes of aspiring young models each year. Soon, a new law could require designers, advertisers and fashion publications to meet strict requirements if they wish to employ models under the age of 18.
Historically, child models have been exempt from the legal protections that New York law extends to child performers, which are enforced by the state Department of Labor. Rather, models under the age of 18 have been subject to more limited protections enforced by the Department of Education.
On June 12, 2013, both houses of the New York State legislature passed a law, championed by Model Alliance, to extend current state protections for performers under the age of 18 to include print and runway models. The measure will alter hiring practices in the fashion industry by introducing the following requirements:
- Permits: Employers will need to apply for permits to employ models under the age of 18.
- Restricted Work Hours: Models under the age of 18 will not be permitted to work past midnight on school nights and may not return to work less than 12 hours after they left.
- Chaperones: If a model is under 16, a designated “responsible person” will be required to monitor the activity and safety of the minor.
- Trusts: 15 % of the child model’s earnings must be transferred into a separate, restricted bank account, set up by the model’s parent or guardian.
If the legislation is signed into law, designers, fashion publications and advertisers must comply with the new requirements or risk penalties. Violations would result in fines of $1,000 for the first offense, and $2,000 and $3,000 for second and third offenses, respectively. Fashion employees might also consider hiring models who are aged 18 or older.
CovBrands will be tracking developments in this area – so watch this space!