On February 19, 2016, California Assemblymember Marc Levine introduced AB 2539, a bill designed to protect the health of professional models. The bill comes as a response to France banning excessive thinness in models after death from anorexia of Isabelle Caro, a French fashion model who had campaigned to raise awareness about the disease.
The bill would:
– require models to obtain health certification from a licensed physician and undergo periodic health checkups to ensure they are healthy weight and not suffering from an eating disorder.
– mandate models to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors, thus granting models worker protection rights.
– require modeling agencies to be licensed by the Labor Commissioner.
– require a modeling agency to obtain health certification before hiring a model, to post in a conspicuous place in its office a health advisory relating to eating disorders and sexual harassment or assault, and to maintain specified records relating to its employment of models.
– provide that a violation
of the certification requirement by a modeling agency is a crime.
– require the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board and the State Department of Public Health to draft regulations relating to the modeling profession.
Here is what Assemblymember Levine had to say about his bill:
“The evidence of eating disorders in the modeling industry is alarming. AB 2539 will make sure that models are not enduring physical harm as a workplace prerequisite. This is a societal problem as unhealthy models have become role models for young people. As California often leads the nation and the world, this bill will help assure that our children will see healthy images on magazines and fashion websites.”
All photos are copyright atty Sergei Tokmakov and cannot be reproduced without permission.