New York’s Fashion Workers Act to Protect Models from Exploitation

The state of New York has proposed a new law, the Fashion Workers Act, that seeks to protect everyone from models to makeup artists from abuse in the fashion industry. This bill, introduced earlier this year, has renewed attention in the midst of several high-profile controversial cases. 

These cases, including actor Danny Masterson’s rape case and Kevin Spacey’s sexual abuse trial, are in turn increased attention to the rights of fashion models. “On so many levels, from emotional to physical to financial, fashion has been abusing models for years and years and years,” said Kaja Sokola. Sokola is among the women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

A few things proposed in the Fashion Workers Act include: 

  • Models should be paid within 45 days of completing a job.
  • Models should be provided copies of contracts for each job. 
  • A management agency should alert models they used to work with when they receive royalties on this model’ behalf.
  • Management agencies will take commission up to 20% only. 

The New York Fashion Workers Act will be debated once again in the 2023 legislative session, somewhere in January. This bill, if passed, will go a long way to help fashion models to be financially independent enough to escape certain abuses — models won’t be relying too much on their management agencies. 


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