NYC Enacts Freelance Worker Protections

The Freelance Isn’t Free Act, Effective May 15th 2017, offers protection to all New York City residents who identify as freelance workers against underpayment and undue manipulation on behalf of their employers. A Freelance Worker is defined as any person or organization of one person not otherwise incorporated or employing a trade name that is hired or retained as an independent contractor to provide services for a period of time in exchange for compensation.

The act requires all freelance work to be written under signed contract at the time a hiring party retains services worth $800.00 or more. This contract must include the names of all parties involved, the value of contracted services, the rate and method of compensation, and what date payment must be issued or what mechanism will be used to determine that date.

Non-compliance with above freelance protections can result in the following:

  • Civil and criminal penalties when payments are made later than 30 days after the project has been completed or when payment is not in accordance with the contractual agreement.
  • Once services have begun, employers may not require that the freelance employee accept less that the contracted amount in order to be paid in a timely fashion.
  • Employers will be responsible for double damages and attorney fees if and when a case goes to court.

Not sure if you’re in compliance or if any of your employees are freelancers? Call our office to speak with an HR Professional to discuss any questions or concerns at 631.794.7400.