The New York State Legislature recently passed the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (the “Act”). If signed into law, the Act, which mirrors New York City’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act, would provide protections to freelance workers/independent contractors.
Specifically, the Act would amend the New York Labor Law to establish protections for covered freelance workers, including the right to receive a written contract, the right to be paid timely and in full, and the right to be free from retaliation. Importantly, the Act would broadly define covered “freelance workers” to include “any natural person or organization composed of no more than one natural person, whether or not incorporated or employing a trade name, that is hired or retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to provide services in exchange for an amount equal to or greater than eight hundred dollars, either by itself or when aggregated with all contracts for services between the same hiring party and freelance worker during the immediately preceding one hundred twenty days.”
For covered freelance workers, the Act’s protections would include the following: Contracts between a hiring party and a covered freelance worker must be reduced to writing and contain, at a minimum:
- the name and mailing address of both the hiring party and the freelance worker;
- an itemization of all services to be provided by the freelance worker;
- the value of the services to be provided under the contract and the rate and method of compensation;
- the date on which the hiring party must pay the contracted compensation or the mechanism by which such date will be determined; and
- the date by which the freelance worker must submit a list of services rendered under the contract to the hiring party in order to meet any of such hiring party’s internal processing deadlines for purposes of timely compensation.
If signed into law by Governor Hochul (which is expected), the Act would take effect 180 days thereafter. Employers that contract with freelancers/independent contractors should begin to prepare for compliance and review existing contracts to determine whether changes may be necessary. We will continue to monitor this pending legislation and will provide further developments if and when it is enacted into law. Should you have any questions, please contact ALG.