Freelance Isn't Free Bill, Andrew Gounardes

It’s passed in the Senate, and it may soon be the law: All employers working with freelancers must provide written contracts for all freelance workers, and all freelancers be paid by the agreed-upon date or within 30 days of the completion of the work!

On Wednesday, S8369, or the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act passed in the New York State Senate. The bill stipulates that freelancers or contract workers, who make up one third of the American workforce, receive contracts and are granted legal recourse for non-payment.

“From our state’s journalists and graphic artists to independent mechanics struggling to make rent or afford groceries, it is New York State’s responsibility to ensure these self-employed workers have all the tools they need to get paid on time and in full,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes, the Senate sponsor of the bill.

“As we celebrate the passage of the Freelance Isn’t Free Act in the New York State Senate, I thank my colleagues in the Senate for recognizing the needs of this often overlooked workforce.

The Freelance Isn’t Free law also lowers the threshold for mandating additional financial remediation from contractors to contract workers, and makes the New York State Labor Department the regulatory agency for freelancers in the state.

“We are grateful to State Senator Andrew Gounardes and State Assembly member Harry Bronson for spearheading this important bill in the New York State Legislature, to the bill’s other co-sponsors for their support and to the National Writers Union and Freelancers Union for leading a broad coalition of organizations, including the Authors Guild, in lobbying for the bill’s passage,” Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, said in a statement.

“We will continue to work with the National Writers Union, Freelancers Union, the Graphic Artists Guild, American Photographic Artists and other like-minded organizations to pass similar legislation across the country, starting with California, which, like New York, is home to many freelance creative workers.”

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