The Freelance Isn't Free Act


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Jan 26, 2015
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What is the Freelance Isn't Free Act?

On Oct. 27, 2016 the New York City Council voted unanimously to pass the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, the country's first law to help protect freelancers against nonpayment. The law mandates that freelancers be paid in full for work worth $800 or more over 120 days, either by a date set forward in writing or within 30 days of completing an assigned task. The Freelance Isn't Free Act also aims to protect freelancers from employer retaliation, for exercising their rights. Contract workers who still haven’t been paid within two years can file a complaint with the city’s Office of Labor Standards. The employer must respond to the complaint within 20 days or face court, double payment of wages, attorneys’ fees and other monetary consequences.

NYC's Local Law 140 of 2016

Reports 📂
Legislation Details .pdf
Legislation Text .pdf
Legislation Details w/ Text .pdf

How to get involved
If you would like to advocate for expanding protections nationally, bringing this to the attention of your elected officials is a step in the right direction. Ask them how the legislative process works in your district, and what you can you do to help bring FIFA to your state. Ask them to get behind this movement.

Directory of Legislators:
U.S. Territories


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Jul 5, 2017
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wow I did not know about this.
-holds up sign-


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Feb 6, 2019
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I seem to be in the minority here, but as a longtime (30 year) freelancer, I HATE this ordinance and similar "protections." One of the most common complaints I hear from freelancers is that clients don't respect them, don't treat them as peers, view them as employees, etc. There's nothing that undermines the idea of a freelancer as an independent business person just like the client like a law that says we need to be protected from the big bad clients because we're just helpless little worker bees.

I'm a professional running a business, and I interact with my clients as fellow business owners and am perfectly capable of negotiating, enforcing contracts, etc. on my own. The last thing I want is some "helpful" governmental entity casting me in the role of prey that needs to be protected.