For freelancers in New York City, a new Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA) was passed by the city council last fall that makes them the beneficiaries of a new law intended to protect their rights starting May 2017. Defined by the statue, Freelancers are independent contractors or workers not in a traditional relationship with the employer.
Considered a historic passage, the law requires written contracts for freelance projects worth $800, and gives freelancers the right to file complaints with the Department of Labor Standards against clients and institutes for non-payment. The first of it’s kind in the country, FIFA is motivating other municipalities to follow suit, especially when being pressured by advocacy groups like Freelancers Union.
In NYC alone, 38% of the workforce freelances. With the new laws to protect Freelancers, it may start a conversation across the country. There are about 55 million Americans freelancing across the country, with hopes of similar legislation popping up in other freelance-friendly cities.
As a best business practice, small business owners should consult with an attorney to review existing contracts and practices when hiring independent contractors. Freelancers in NYC should acquaint themselves with the new rights afforded by the law. When signing contracts with business owners, ensure they are aware of the new law and its stipulations.
Are you working with or as a Freelancer? If you have questions surrounding your laws and rights or about the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, start with KDuncan and Company, we’re here to help!
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