Professor Scafidi on harassment in fashion
WWD has a roundup of reactions to the Harvey Weinstein news and its implications for the fashion industry. Here’s an excerpt from Professor Scafidi’s comments:
Legally, many models who experience sexual harassment have no recourse unless they are actually threatened or physically violated, in which case criminal law may apply, assuming enough evidence to bring a case. Since models are considered independent contractors, sexual harassment laws designed to protect employees typically do not apply. New York State’s inclusion of models under 18 in its child performer protection law starting in 2013 was a victory, but more legal support is necessary. In fact, in an era when traditional employer-employee relationships are giving way to the gig economy more generally, society as a whole could benefit from studying the problems experienced by models and creating structures to combat sexual harassment and abuse in every context.