Imagine you are a company in the business of selling certain goods or services. In order to properly promote and market those goods or services, you work with a third-party agency to formally engage a model for a one-day photo shoot to take place in California. The agency will negotiate and collect payment from you on the model’s behalf. You enter into a written contract with the agency which specifies, among other things, that the model will be engaged as an independent contractor for a daily rate of $1,000.
The shoot is a great success and a week later, you receive an invoice from the modeling agency requesting payment within 30 days, which you complete in a timely manner.
Then imagine, based solely on the timeline and facts above, you are served with a lawsuit filed against you by that model, the one who worked for you for one day, alleging he or she was actually your employee and is now owed tens of thousands of dollars in penalties, damages and attorneys’ fees and costs. In the course of litigation, you learn that this model has filed dozens of identical suits.
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"Model Behavior?" by Caroline P. Donelan and Natalie R. Alameddine was published in the Daily Journal on May 13, 2022. Reprinted with permission from the Daily Journal. Reprinted with permission from the Daily Journal.