U.S. Senate Passes Fashion Workers Act Once Again

The Fashion Workers Act, first introduced by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly member Karines Reyes in March 2022, has been passed by the New York Senate Labor Committee for the second year in a row.

This pro-labor legislation aims to regulate predatory management agencies in New York that currently operate without oversight and provide basic labor protections to fashion workers, specifically models.

The Fashion Workers Act includes important provisions such as requiring management agencies to provide copies of contracts and agreements to models, notifying formerly represented models if royalties are collected on their behalf, and establishing a zero-tolerance policy for abuse to ensure the health and safety of models.

Additionally, the Act seeks to discontinue unethical practices like charging models interest on their earnings, renewing contracts without affirmative consent, and taking retaliatory action against models for filing complaints.

The bill will now proceed to the Senate Finance Committee before it goes to a floor vote in the Senate.

The Model Alliance, the co-sponsor of the bill, is urging lawmakers to pass the Fashion Workers Act through both chambers before the legislative session ends next month.

Sara Ziff, founder and executive director of the Model Alliance, emphasized the need for basic protections for fashion workers, stating, “Fashion is work – plain and simple.

It’s unacceptable that the creative workforce behind the $2.5 trillion global fashion industry still lacks basic protections – including the models who are the literal faces of this industry.” She expressed gratitude to Senator Hoylman-Sigal for supporting the bill and urged lawmakers to pass it this session.

The Fashion Workers Act has garnered support from notable figures in the fashion industry, including supermodels Beverly Johnson and Karen Elson, makeup artist Daniel Martin, and Helena Christensen, who voiced their support on Instagram.

State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal highlighted the importance of the fashion sector in New York City, which employs 180,000 people and contributes 6% to the city’s workforce, generating $10.9 billion in total wages.

He stressed the need to protect creative workers from exploitation and ensure fair treatment and compensation.


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