Yesterday was a historic day for freelancers. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act, which was spearheaded by the Freelancers Union during a year-long campaign last year, became law in New York City.

The law requires anyone hiring a freelancer for work worth $800 or more to use a written contract. The contract must describe the work being commissioned, the rate and payment method, the date when payment is due, and it must include contact information for both parties.

The law also requires contractors to pay their freelancers in full within 30 days of the work being completed or by the payment due date stated on the contract. Companies that do not pay on time could face penalties, including damages and attorney’s fees.

The Freelance Isn’t Free campaign was launched after the Freelancers Union released a report in 2015 that indicated that over 70 percent of freelancers have had trouble getting paid at some point in their careers.

The Freelancers Union also released an app yesterday that will help freelancers find legal support if they need to take action against non-paying clients.

 

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