Today is the third anniversary of New York City’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act, the first law in the country that protects freelancers against nonpayment. We fought long and hard for its passage because we know that client nonpayment is one of the most common — and most frustrating — hazards of the freelance life.
The Freelance Isn’t Free Act is a robust set of protections that require clients to use a contract every time they hire freelancers for $800 worth of work (the amount can be accumulated over a four-month period), requires payment within 30 days, and provides legal assistance and an easy claim process managed by the city.
In essence, the law places the financial risk on clients, rather than freelancers. If you do the work you were hired to do, clients must pay. It’s that simple. If they don’t, they can be held liable for double the amount of your invoice, plus legal fees, and fines for chronic nonpayers.
More than ever, we’re hearing from members who are owed money by delinquent clients. While many small businesses are genuinely struggling during the coronavirus crisis, too many large, well-funded companies are using it as an excuse to avoid paying freelancers what they’re