New York City Freelancing Isn’t Free Act


Mayor DeBlasio signed the Freelancing Isn’t Free Act on November 16th.  The Act was sponsored by Brooklyn city Councilman Brad Lander and had previously passed the City Council unanimously.

Here’s the bottom line – in a New York Minute:

  1. It takes effect on May 15, 2017.
  2. It requires employers to enter into contracts with individual independent contractors (whether the person has a company or not) paid more than $800 for the project.
  3. The Act does not protect lawyers in good standing, medical professionals or sales representatives (they are already covered under the New York State Labor Law)
  4. What needs to be in the contract? (i) Name and address of the freelancer and the employer; (ii) compensation and method of compensation; (iii) a description of services provided by the freelancer; (iv) payment date; (v) any additional terms required by the Director of the Office of Labor Standards.   The Director is also supposed to provide free model contracts on the Office of Labor Standards’ website.
  5. Just about every governmental body is exempt, including the City of New York and its agencies. 
  6. Aggrieved freelancers can file complaints with the Director of the Office of Labor Standards or file a lawsuit in State Court.  Attorneys’ fees are available to prevailing plaintiffs.

Feel free to contact me for more information., 212.964.3157.