This post was also written by Meghan Offer.
On October 21, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law amendments to New York’s labor laws to specifically cover child models. The legislation aims to protect runway and print models who are under the age of 18 in accordance with the same state labor laws that already protect other young entertainers, including actors, dancers, musicians, singers, and voice-over artists. Specifically, the law, which goes into effect 30 days from its October 21 signing, contains mandated education, oversight, and financial protections, and requires employers to obtain work-related certificates of eligibility and maintain proper records of all work performed by child models. Among other provisions, this legislation requires: (i) chaperones to monitor the workplaces of models under 16 years of age; (ii) employers to provide nurses with pediatric experience and, under certain circumstances, teachers, as well as a dedicated space for instruction; (iii) employers to deposit at least 15 percent of the child’s gross income into a financial trust created by the model’s parents or guardians; and (iv) employers to provide notice to the NYS Labor Commissioner at least two business days prior to employing an underage model. Employers that violate the provisions of this legislation will be subject to monetary fines, generally ranging between $1,000 – 3,000 per violation.