NYC Passes Law to Protect Contractors, Freelancers

14598392170_4916af28ed_hThe New York City Council has just passed a law which will impact how authors hire experts to work on their next book.

The "Freelancers Aren't Free" Act codifies a number of regulations designed to protect freelancers from getting stiffed by their clients.

According to Gothamist the bill's provisions include:

Under the provisions of the bill, employers will have a 30 day window after a freelancer renders services (or after an agreed-upon date) to make payment in full. They will also 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 will also be prohibited from retaliating against freelancers who seek to enforce their labor rights.

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The bill also establishes a formal mechanism for the director of the Department of Consumer Affairs to enforce the labor rights of freelancers who are stiffed by employers.

The bill is awaiting Mayor de Blasio's signature.

I don't  think this bill has gotten much press, but it's going to have wide-ranging impact beyond simply protecting those who are regarded as freelancers. Even though few have made the connection, this bill will also protect the "contractors" who make a living in the gig, or servants as a service, industry.

According to the Freelancer's Union, 38% of workers in NYC freelance.  That figure grows to 55 million when we consider the entire US, which means that if other states follow NYC's lead this could affect everyone from Uber to Amazon.

StoryBoard, Freelancer's Union

image by markus spiske

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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