An illustration showing a diverse group of freelancers, including a writer, graphic designer, programmer, and photographer, celebrating the Freelance Isn't Free Act in a collaborative workspace, symbolizing community and legislative support.

States that Protect Freelancers From Non-Payment

If you’re a freelancer working across different states, you’ll find the gig economy offers lots of freedom compared to standard jobs. However, it also comes with challenges, such as delayed payments and vague contracts. Fortunately, an increasing number of states are adopting the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA). This law is designed to protect you, ensuring you’re paid promptly and your contracts are clear, no matter where you are in the U.S.

What States Adopted Freelance Protection Act?

After New York City introduced the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, it became a model for protecting freelancers. This caught the attention of other states, leading to a ripple effect. Illinois stepped up next, creating similar laws to support freelancers, emphasizing their importance in today’s workforce. They included things like mandatory contracts and clear payment terms to help freelancers get paid on time.

California followed with its own bill, focusing on the same issues to help freelancers in its vast gig economy. These steps by different states show a growing recognition of freelancers’ rights and the need for clear laws to support them.

This movement could spread across the country, reflecting how important freelancers are to the economy and innovation. As more people turn to freelancing, there’s a louder call for laws that ensure they’re treated fairly, just like other workers. This push could lead to more states adopting similar protections, helping freelancers nationwide get the respect and security they deserve in their work.

What Is the Freelance Isn’t Free Act?

In 2017, New York City introduced the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA), a pivotal law for freelance worker rights. FIFA requires that freelance jobs above a set value have a written contract, guaranteeing payment within 30 days of job completion. Additionally, it allows freelancers to seek double damages for unpaid work, offering robust protection against non-payment.

How FIFA Helps Freelancers

FIFA directly tackles a major concern for freelancers: inconsistent and delayed payments. By enforcing the use of written contracts, FIFA clarifies the terms of work, payment schedules, and expectations for both freelancers and their clients. This clarity and enforceability benefit freelancers, giving them a stronger foundation for their work and recourse if things go wrong. Additionally, this act fosters a more respectful and equitable environment for freelance work, promoting timely compensation and fair treatment across the gig economy.

Does your state offer legal protections for freelancers similar to the Freelance Isn’t Free Act?

To determine if your state provides legal protections for freelancers, you should research local labor laws or visit your state government’s labor department website. Many states are beginning to adopt legislation similar to the Freelance Isn’t Free Act to protect freelancers, ensuring timely payment and fair contract terms. If such laws are not yet in place in your state, consider advocating for them or seeking advice from legal professionals to understand your rights and protections as a freelancer.