Industry & Advocacy News
October 20, 2023
This week, the Authors Guild joined Freelancers Union in writing to New York governor Kathy Hochul urging her to sign the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA) into law. FIFA would require that employers provide written contracts for all freelance workers, and allow freelancers to collect double compensation if employers fail to pay them in a timely manner.
The governor previously vetoed the bill due to lack of funding for the state agency charged with enforcing the law, but we are hoping this time she will stand with authors, freelance writers, and other freelancers across the state and support their economic well-being. Our collective efforts have been instrumental in advocating for the right to a contract and the right to be paid—and paid on time—per the contract. Together, we are voicing the urgent need to extend essential labor rights to freelance workers across New York State. As organizations representing freelance professions, we believe the Freelance Isn’t Free Act exemplifies New York’s pioneering role in building a more equitable future of work.
FIFA was first established by Local Law 140 of 2016 in New York City. Since then, it successfully established rights like guaranteed contracts, timely payment, and protection from retaliation for freelancers in NYC, but independent contractors outside of the city lack these safeguards.
Read more about our ongoing advocacy efforts to enact freelancer protections in New York:
Authors Guild, Freelance Workers Rally for #FreelanceIsntFree in Albany, New York
Authors Guild Statement in Support of New York’s Proposed Freelance Isn’t Free Law
Authors Guild Supports New Freelance Worker Bills in NYC
As an organization representing the interests of writers, who heavily rely on freelance work, we believe Governor Hochul signing this bill into law would ensure that all freelance authors in New York, regardless of location, have access to fair compensation and recourse against employer retaliation. It will also promote equity for freelancers in relation to traditional employees.
We urge the governor to sign the Freelance Isn’t Free Act to champion the rights of freelancers, uphold labor standards, and exemplify commitment to safe and equitable working conditions for all New Yorkers.
Read the letter here (PDF).
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