Standing in solidarity

Freelancers Union stands in solidarity with those fighting against racism, police brutality, and the historical oppression of the Black community. The actions of protesters across the country reflect the pain and anger that so many in our community are feeling. We hear you and we grieve with you over the acts of senseless violence against…

Need help with your unemployment insurance claim? Here’s what to do.

By now, it’s no secret that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) systems across the country are not working. On May Day, we published the results of our latest survey, in which a shocking 84% of Freelancers Union members who had applied for government assistance had not yet received a single dollar. Four weeks later, things have…

Better federal relief is needed to solve the freelance crisis in America

It’s been seven weeks since the CARES Act, the first major piece of legislation aimed at addressing the coronavirus crisis, was signed into law. That law created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Paycheck Protection Program, two initiatives that were intended to provide critical aid for freelance and self-employed individuals, who have been doubly affected both…

May Day: Fix Pandemic Unemployment Assistance now

It’s May Day. The modern holiday was created in the 1860s in the U.S. to commemorate those who died in the Haymarket Affair, when police in Chicago clashed with workers fighting for the 8-hour workday, leaving four civilians and seven police dead. Before the coronavirus pandemic began, public support for unions, which build community, motivate…

We told Illinois: Delays in unemployment aid are unacceptable

The slow nationwide rollout of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) has been a frustrating trickle of information — or the lack thereof. In tracking the many different systems being built in every state to accept applications from independent workers, Freelancers Union identified several states that have clearly made freelancers their lowest priority. In Illinois, the Illinois…

More PPP money is coming — there’s good news and bad news

The need-to-know: $310 billion was added to the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans for businesses with less than 500 employees, including freelancers.$60 billion is set aside for small lenders and community development banks with the intention of funding traditionally underserved communities, including those of color.The program was weighted in favor of big business,…

Freelancers have been shut out of PPP funding

Just four days after the Paycheck Protection Program became available to freelancers and self-employed people, the Small Business Administration announced the program was out of money. The PPP was meant to be a lifeline to keep small business owners afloat, keep staff employed, and cover some operating expenses. For freelancers, the forgivable loan could be…

The State of the Freelancers Union

On Wednesday, April 15, Freelancers Union President Rafael Espinal held his first State of the Freelancers Union since he took office on March 2, 2020. Rafael presented his vision for a 50-state freelancers movement post-COVID-19, which includes an expanded network of Freelancers Hubs modeled after our coworking and career development space in Dumbo, Brooklyn, and…

New Freelancers Union study reveals the scope of coronavirus losses

We asked, and you answered. Two weeks ago, we sent out a survey asking freelancers how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting their work. While we’ve heard many difficult stories from affected members of Freelancers Union since the country began implementing shutdowns and social distancing measures, we wanted to get a clearer sense of just what…

What the CARES Act means for freelancers

On March 27, an emergency relief bill now known as the CARES Act became law to help bolster the U.S. economy as the country battles the coronavirus. The new law covers a broad cross-section of the economy — including the freelance sector. Of particular note, the relief package gives jobless workers bigger unemployment checks over…

Stand up for freelancers affected by the coronavirus crisis

After weeks of deliberation, it looks like we are on the verge of a federal coronavirus stimulus package that will — crucially — include independent workers in an expanded unemployment insurance program through June. Last week, the federal government signed a bill including freelancers in a paid sick leave and family leave program for those…

Freelancers must be included in COVID-19 aid

Today, I sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and New York State and City elected officials to outline the stakes for freelancers in this unprecedented moment in our history. In the conversations around government economic support at the federal, state, and local levels across the…