December 16, 2016
Authored by: BCLP, Sarah Bloom and Jay Warren
Retailers who contract with freelance workers in New York City should be aware of landmark legislation just passed to protect the wages of freelance works, including artists. The law takes effect on May 15, 2017.
The Act, appropriately named “Freelancers Aren’t Free” protects these workers by (1) requiring freelancer contracts to be in writing, (2) requiring timely payment, (3) prohibiting retaliation, and (4) providing specific remedies and damages available to aggrieved freelance workers. The law does not apply to sales representatives, attorneys or licensed medical professionals.
Writing Requirement: Contracts with freelancers for services of $800 or more (including the amounts for contracts between the same parties in the immediately preceding 120 days) must be in writing. The contract must include the name and address of the hiring party and the freelance worker, an itemization of the services the freelancer will provide and a price schedule for those services, and the date for final payment to the freelancer.
Payment Provision: The hiring party must pay the freelancer on or before the date specified in the contract. If there is no date set in the contract, the law requires the hiring party pay the freelancer no later than 30 days after the completion of the freelancer’s work.
Retaliation: Hiring parties may not threaten, harass, deny an opportunity to or take any action against a freelance worker that deters the freelancer from exercising any right under the Act.
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