U.S. Senate passes Fashion Workers Act again

U.S. Senate passes Fashion Workers Act again

The New York Senate Labor Committee passed on Wednesday the Fashion Workers Act for the second year in a row.

The Model Alliance announces Fashion Workers Act. – Instagram: @modelallianceny

The pro-labor legislation, first introduced by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly member Karines Reyes in March 2022, aims to regulate predatory management agencies in New York that currently operate without oversight, and provide protection to fashion workers – in particular, models – who are not afforded basic labor protections in New York. 

Specifically, the Fashion Workers Act would require management agencies to provide models with copies of contracts and agreements, notify formerly represented models if they collect royalties on their behalf, and protect the health and safety of models, including by establishing a zero-tolerance policy for abuse. 

Likewise, it would discontinue bad practices such as charging models interest on their earnings, renewing contracts without the model’s affirmative consent and taking retaliatory action against a model for filing a complaint. 

The bill is now heading to the Senate Finance Committee before it goes to a floor vote in the Senate, as the Model Alliance, the bill’s cosponsor, urges lawmakers to pass the bill through both chambers before the legislative session ends next month.

“Fashion is work – plain and simple. It’s unacceptable that the creative workforce behind the $2.5 trillion global fashion industry still lack basic protections – including the models who are the literal faces of this industry,” said Sara Ziff, founder and executive director of the Model Alliance.

“The lack of financial transparency that models experience creates an environment rife with sexual abuse, and the threat of retaliation and losing work prevents victims from speaking out. Thank you to our bill sponsor Senator Hoylman-Sigal for being our champion and getting this bill through the Senate Labor Committee again. Now, lawmakers must pass the Fashion Workers Act through both houses this session.”

To date, the bill has received support from the likes of supermodels Beverly Johnson and Karen Elson, makeup artist Daniel Martin, anonymous InstagramHelena Christensen

State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal added: “New York City’s fashion sector employs 180,000 people, accounting for 6% of the city’s workforce and generating $10.9 billion in total wages. New York must ensure that creative workers in this important industry aren’t exploited. Our Fashion Workers Act (S2477) creates workplace protections for models and content creators that will help ensure they are treated – and compensated – fairly. I’m thankful for the support of Senate Labor Committee Chair Ramos in moving our legislation through committee and for the incredible advocacy efforts of the Model Alliance.”

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