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New Act Protects NYC Freelancer Rights

News May 17, 2017


Important news for all freelancers living in NYC: a new law has just passed that builds your rights as a freelancer! The “Freelance Isn’t Free Act” went into effect on May 15 and gives freelance workers in NYC legal rights and a dedicated City resource for workplace questions and complaints.

Here’s what you need to know:

Who is a freelancer?

The Act defines a freelance worker as “any individual hired or retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to provide services for compensations.” Freelancers work across various industries—including the graphic design, accounting, photography and education space—and are experts in their specific field.

What are your rights?

The Act outlines your rights as a freelancer as follows:

  • Contracts for $800 or more must be in writing. These written contracts must outline: the work a freelancer will do, how much they will be paid and the date on which they will be paid.
  • Freelancers must be paid for completed work. The payment must be received on or before the date specified in the contract.
  • It is illegal for a freelancer to be penalized, threatened or blacklisted by a hiring party for exercising their rights.
  • Under the NYC Human Rights Law, freelancers are protected against discrimination.
  • Freelancers can file a complaint against a hiring party with the Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Office of Labor Policy and Standards.
  • Freelancers can sue a hiring party for damages.

With new protections in place, there are more reasons than ever before to go freelance. We welcome all freelancers to join our global network of skilled service and start connecting with clients today.