Proposed Law Would Protect Kids from Workplace Sexual Harassment
As is the case with many areas of the law, matters in the employment realm are constantly evolving. Whether through case law or legislation, it is important that employers stay on top of any changes that could occur. The failure to do so could result in expensive litigation and payouts.
An issue that is being considered on the federal level is whether federal workplace safety regulations should be extended to professional performers, including models who are under the age of 17. Currently, children are often exempted from the employment criteria pertaining to young people provided by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Child Performers Protection Act of 2015 was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. The founder of an interest group that supports extending the workplace safety regulations indicated that child models are at risk of being exploited by adults. Adopting legation that establishes unified standards could help prevent this.
If passed, the bill would do the following
- Establish salary and savings requirements
- Create specific working hours
- Provide private recourse for sexual harassment
Just how far the bill will get is unclear. It is currently with the Committee on Education and the Work Force. If it, or similar legislation, ever does become law, employers of entertainers who fit into this demographic will need to update their policies to recognize the changes. In addition they would need to be prepared to defend themselves against allegations should they arise. In either of these situations, an employment lawyer can be of assistance in protecting themselves.