This groundbreaking law protecting freelancers from nonpayment was a victory for Freelancers Union members in New York CIty and serves as a blueprint for other cities and states. Enacted in 2017, its provisions include:
Mandatory Contracts: clients must use a contract when hiring a freelancer for over $800 of work and they can face fines if they refuse to provide one.
Payment Agreement Protections: clients cannot require that freelancers accept less than they’re owed in exchange for timely payment.
Anti-Retaliation: clients cannot retaliate against a freelancer for pursuing payment.
Legal Assistance: a city agency will investigate, may try to collect on the freelancer’s behalf, and will provide court navigation services if needed.
Double Damages: freelancers can collect double damages and attorneys fees in court, and repeat offenders can face penalties of up to $25,000.
Who is protected? The law covers freelancers who are earning 1099 income and are owed over $800 for work in a 4-month period. It applies to sole proprietors who are not incorporated, or who are incorporated as either an independent LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp and do not have employees.
In New York City, you can file a nonpayment complaint using this form with the Office of Labor and Policy Standards, who can help you resolve your issue.
You can file the complaint or reach out with questions:
Ready to bring #FreelanceIsntFree to your community? Here’s how you can help:
Together, we can grow the movement to help make sure freelancers everywhere get paid on time every time!