The coronavirus is no excuse for client nonpayment

Businesses of all sizes are facing losses and uncertainty right now. Unfortunately, that means many clients are passing the financial burden off on their freelancers by refusing to pay their outstanding invoices.

New York City’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act (the “Act”) is a powerful tool in your belt at all times, and in a moment like this, it’s even more important to understand just what it can do for you — and how easy it is to use.

In short, the Act protects freelancers who are not paid for their work within 30 days, giving them the right to sue nonpaying clients for double the amount they are owed, plus attorney’s fees. The process for filing an administrative complaint is straightforward (see the Freelancers Union guide here), and cases are usually easily settled once in front of a judge.

In a business based on relationships, it’s understandable that freelancers might feel reluctant to take the leap to legal action. But right now, what’s most important is that you’re taken care of. And while, realistically, that client may decide not to work with you again after your lawsuit is settled, the Act contains strong anti-retaliation provisions that make it illegal for a client to

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