On October 27, the City Council voted unanimously to pass the Freelance Isn’t Free Bill, introduced by The Freelancers Union and Councilman Brad Lander. The bill is the first wage theft legislation in the nation, and will encourage other cities to follow suit. (See article on City Council hearing on the bill, below).
The bill will go into effect in 180 days — April 25, 2017, if signed by Bill de Blasio.
Some of the provisions of the bill:
• Employers must pay freelancers in full 30 days after services are completed (or an agreed upon date)
• Employers will be required to provide a written contract to freelancers working on projects for which they will be paid $800 or more.
• Freelancers who bring successful litigation against employers in breach of the law will be entitled to double damages as well as attorneys’ fees.
• Employers cannot retaliate against freelancers who seek to enforce their rights.
• The director of the Department of Consumer Affairs will be able to enforce the updated labor regulations for freelancers.
• Freelancers can file complaints against non-payment and late-payment with the NYC Department of Labor Standards.
• Delinquent clients found guilty of nonpayment in small claims court will face an escalating series of penalties.
The bill includes many more protections for freelancers and contract workers. To see the full legislation, go here:http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2530972&GUID=61F8754B-80AF-493E-895E-D6D17209776E
West Village Word and our entire community of freelance and contract workers give thanks to the Freelancers Union and Executive Director Sara Horowitz, Council Member Brad Lander and the entire City Council.