Freelance Isn't Free...A Guide to NY's Freelance Laws

Two weeks ago the New York City Council unanimously passed the Freelance Isn't Free bill. So here is what you need to know about it:

  • It creates legal protections specifically for Freelancers
  • It requires a written contract for any gig over $800
  • It requires payment no later than 30 days after the work has been completed
  • It gives the State court power to award double fees and attorney fees if enforced
  • It requires the Office of Labor to collect data on violators
  • It creates fines of up to $25,000 for repeat offenders

This is a huge step in favor of freelancers who have long had to chase down their money or often times not get paid with no legal recourse. This could literally change the landscape of freelancing forever. 

I say COULD because this is just a BILL it is not a LAW until Mayor de Blasio signs it and all the appropriate enforcements are setup and there is no clear sign on if or when he might potentially sign the Freelance Isn't Free bill. 

Until then my freelancing friends ALWAYS get everything in writing even if it is less than $800. If it is enough money to get mad need a contract for it.

3 Things You Need in Every Contract

As a freelancer every single penny counts and you have no way of getting your money from a nonpaying client if you never had a written agreement in the first place. Also, if you need health insurance, tips on finance, general rights as a freelancer please check out The Freelancers Union that has a ton of resources and tools. If there was a time to rally support for a law this would be it. If passed this could change the game for freelancers everywhere, so please share this with a freelancing friend and ask them to tell Mayor de Blasio to sign this into law!