diverse group of freelancers in New York City celebrating the new "Freelance Isn’t Free" Act.

New York: Freelance Isn’t Free Act Goes Statewide, Gov. Hochul Signs Legislation

Introduction: In a significant move, Governor Kathy Hochul has signed the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act, a law that promises to revolutionize the way freelancers in New York are treated and paid. This legislation marks a turning point in the fight for freelancer rights, especially concerning timely and fair payment for services rendered.

The Essence of the New Law: The “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act expands the reach of protections to freelancers across New York State. This includes the right to a written contract, prompt and full payment, and safeguards against retaliation. It’s a game-changer for freelancers who have long struggled with payment issues.

Governor Hochul’s Vision: In her statement, Governor Hochul emphasized the dignity and respect that every worker deserves, including freelancers. “As freelance work becomes increasingly prevalent, it’s crucial that we have robust protections in place,” she stated.

Key Provisions and Impact:

  1. Contractual Rights: Freelancers are now entitled to a clear written contract, outlining payment terms.
  2. Timely Payment: Delays in payment should be a thing of the past, with the law mandating prompt compensation.
  3. Protection from Retaliation: Freelancers are shielded from any form of discrimination for exercising their rights under this law.
  4. Legal Recourse: The Attorney General can intervene on behalf of freelancers, and freelancers can file lawsuits to enforce their rights.

Minimum Payment Threshold: The law applies to projects worth at least $800, a threshold that encompasses a wide range of freelance work.

Reactions from Key Stakeholders:

  • State Senator Andrew Gounardes: “This law stands as a testament to our commitment to protect all workers, including freelancers. It’s about ensuring fairness in our labor market.”
  • Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson: “This legislation is a critical step towards recognizing the economic contribution of freelancers and ensuring their rights are respected.”

Support from Freelancers Union and National Writers Union:

  • Rafael Espinal, Freelancers Union: “This is a monumental day for freelancers. New York State is setting a precedent for protecting the independent workforce.”
  • Larry Goldbetter, National Writers Union: “The passage of this law is a major victory in our ongoing fight against freelance wage theft. It’s a crucial step towards ensuring timely payment for freelancers.”

The “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act is more than just a law; it’s a declaration of the value and importance of freelancers in New York’s economy. It’s a beacon of hope for freelancers who have long awaited fair treatment and recognition. With this legislation, New York sets a new standard in freelancer rights, paving the way for other states to follow.

FAQ: Signing of the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act

When was the New York State “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act signed into law? Governor Kathy Hochul signed the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act into law on November 22, 2024.

Who signed the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act into law? The Act was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul of New York State.

What is the purpose of the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act? This Act aims to provide protections, rights, and avenues for recourse to freelance workers in New York State who experience non-payment for their services. It includes provisions for written contracts, timely payment, and protection against retaliation and discrimination.

Does the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act apply only to New York City? No, the Act extends protections to freelancers across all of New York State, building upon the existing Freelance Isn’t Free Law that was specific to New York City.

What roles does the New York State Attorney General’s Office play under this Act? The Attorney General’s Office is responsible for overseeing and enforcing the Act. They can take action to obtain remedies, including damages and civil penalties, on behalf of impacted freelance workers.

Are there any specific requirements for contracts under the Act? Yes, the Act establishes the right for freelancers to have a written contract with specific terms, particularly regarding payment.

What should freelancers in New York do if they are not paid for their services? Under the Act, freelancers can seek legal recourse through private lawsuits or through actions brought by the Attorney General’s Office. They are also protected from retaliation or discrimination for asserting their rights under this law.

When will the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act become effective? The effective date of the Act depends on the specifics outlined in the legislation. Typically, laws become effective immediately upon signing, after a predetermined grace period, or on a specific date set in the law. For the exact effective date, one should refer to the text of the Act or official announcements from the New York State government.