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Category: Labor Issues
NY Protects Child Models Under New Labor Law
Prior to the inclusion of child models in the 2013 new child labor law, the law only offered minimal protection to models regarding their hours. This law now provides great protection to child models that are often alone on certain assignments, lacking financial, and educational guidance. Now they will be afforded more guidance and protection.
Let’s take a look at what the law has outlined. These are the
2013 Child Model Frequently Asked Questions from the NY Labor website:
1.Q. What does this bill do?
A. This bill amended various sections of Law so that child models are now considered Child Performers and are provided with the same protections.
2.Q. Who is a child model covered by this new legislation?
A. Print and runway models under the age of 18 who live or work in New York. (Models in film and TV are already protected as child performers.)
3.Q. Does a child model need a permit?
A. Yes. Child models must have a Child Performer Permit issued by the Department of Labor before they begin work. A Child Performer Permit is valid for 1 year and is free.
4.Q. Does all print and runway modeling require a permit?
A. No. A permit is not required if the modeling occurs: at any church, academy or school as part of regular services or activities or in an annual graduation exercise; in a private home; or in any place under the direction, control or supervision of the Department of Education.
5.Q. How can a child model obtain a Child Performer Permit?
A: There are two ways to get a permit: Get a copy of the Child Performer Permit Combined Application LS-561 here. Once you complete the application, mail it to the address on the form along with the needed documentation. If the child has never obtained a NYS Child Performer Permit before, you can obtain an online, one time only, 15-day permit here. To successfully complete the 15-Day Online Permit Application, you must print the permit from your computer printer after you enter all the required information. This temporary permit will allow the child performer to work for 15 days. This gives parents time to complete, document and mail their application to obtain a standard 1-year Child Performer Permit. All other applications are submitted by mail.
6.Q: What information is required on the application form?
A: A child model’s parent or legal guardian must provide the following information along with certain attachments. See the application instructions for more detail.
Child Performer identifying information including identification
Parent/Guardian identifying information including identification
Education/Academic Status information
Trust account information Physical fitness certification
Acknowledgement and declaration
7.Q: Where should I send the completed application and attachments?
A: Send completed permit application forms to:
New York State Department of Labor
Division of Labor Standards
Permit and Certificate Unit, Room 266A
State Office Campus, Bldg 12
Albany, NY 12240
8.Q. Must a child model be a good student?
A. A parent or guardian must provide evidence that the child model is maintaining satisfactory academic performance or is no longer required by law to be in school when applying for a child performer permit.
9.Q. Must a child model meet health standards?
A. There must be proof from a medical professional that the child has been examined within the last year and that the child can model without harm to his or her health.
10.Q. Where do the child model’s earnings go?
A. A parent or guardian must set up a trust account for a child model and an employer must assure that at least 15% of the child model’s earnings are put into that trust account.
11.Q. Must an employer have a permit?
A. An employer who engages a child model to work in New York State must have a Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Department of Labor prior to employing a child model and must notify the Department of Labor at least 2 days before they are going to employ a child model. A Certificate of Eligibility is valid for 3 years.
12.Q. Are the work hours of a child performer restricted?
A. The total daily and weekly hours worked by a child model must be limited, depending on the age of the child and whether or not the child is required to attend school. For specifics regarding print or runway model working hours see the LS 559.
13.Q. Why does the new law permit a child model to work during school hours when the old law provided that a child model could not work during school hours?
A. This law provides more protections for child models than the old law. With regard to education, the law provides for adequate schooling and considers the academic standing of each child.
14.Q. Does a child model need a tutor?
A. When the child attends public or private school, employers must provide for a child performer’s education while the child’s school is in session and when the child is not otherwise receiving instruction due to his/her employment schedule. Instruction must take place from the 1st day of missed educational instruction through the remainder of the child’s employment in the production, if the child was guaranteed 3 or more consecutive days of employment or from the 3rd day of missed educational instruction through the remainder of the child’s employment in the production. (Children that are home or distanced schooled are not covered by these same requirements, but must meet educational criteria required by education laws.)
15.Q. What if the child model is from a different state or country?
A. A child model that works in New York State must fulfill the educational requirements of his or her home school, even if it is located in a different country.
16.Q. Can a child model be alone on a set or runway?
A. No. A responsible person, designated by the parent or guardian, must be at work with the child model if the model is under age 16.
17.Q. How does the law address eating disorders?
A. As part of the permit application, the Department of Labor gets a certification from a medical professional attesting that the child model is fit to work. The Department of Labor also requires that a parent or guardian review certain information about eating disorders before applying for a child performer permit.
18.Q. What happens if an employer does not comply with the law?
A. The Employer’s Certificate of Eligibility may be suspended or revoked. In addition, the Department of Labor may assess civil penalties of up to $1,000 for the 1st violation, $2,000 for the 2nd violation and $3,000 for the 3rd violation.
19.Q. What happens if a parent/guardian does not comply with the law?
A. The Department may suspend or revoke a Child Performer Permit for good cause.
20. Q. Where can I find more information?
A. You can find many more FAQs, forms, and other information for child models on our website.
For more information click on link.
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Reports: Victoria’s Secret Garments Made by ‘Undernourished Children Who Were Beaten With Branches’
Reports: Victoria’s Secret Garments Made by ‘Undernourished Children Who Were Beaten With Branches’.
Child Labor issues have come in to play when companies such as Victoria Secret manufacture goods overseas. A notable case was the Kathie Lee Gifford brand sold at Wal-Mart. The National Labor Committee directed a campaign against the brand in 1996. Since then many companies have developed compliance/monitoring programs to prevent the exploitation of children and prevent unfair labor.
Companies take several steps to ensure transparency about the conditions and the standards of labor in these factories. Some have collaborated with NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) to ensure transparency of their compliance programs and assist in implementing these programs. U.S. Organizations such as Fair Labor Association, Social Accountability International , Business for Social Responsibility, and Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production offer assistance in developing compliance programs, collaborating with members within these organizations as well as accrediting the programs.
In this instance it seems that a 2008 report was produced by the National Federation of Burkina Cotton Producers stating that thousands of children were made to work at these Cotton Farms used by VS. VS claims they never knew about this. If this is true, then VS needs to take a deeper look at their auditing/monitoring and enforcement programs. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that VS probably does have a code of conduct compliance department, most likely headed by legal. However, perhaps protocols weren’t set in place or executed properly ie working with internal and external monitors to get the proper information about what was going on at these farms.
Work this out Vicky! Perhaps read the reports assembled by your collaborators.