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Updates on Freelance Isn’t Free in New York and Los Angeles

Wide angle photo of the New York State Capitol in Albany

After facing Governor Kathy Hochul’s veto in December 2022, the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA) in New York State was reintroduced last week by State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Harry Bronson. The Authors Guild, along with the National Writers Union, Freelancers Union, and other groups, has resumed lobbying to make FIFA a reality.

The bill, which has overwhelming legislative support, would extend important protections to freelancers, including authors, who live or work in New York State. It would require that employers provide written contracts for all freelance workers, and would allow freelancers to collect double compensation if employers fail to pay them in a timely manner. It would also introduce other regulatory changes aimed at making it easier for freelancers to collect payments they’re owed.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles City Council passed a Freelance Isn’t Free ordinance on February 24, 2023. That bill requires employers of freelance workers in LA to provide written contracts with payment dates for services valued at $600 or more, and includes remedies for nonpayment. While the ordinance currently only protects freelancers in the City of Los Angeles and work done within its municipal bounds, the Authors Guild, National Writers Union, Freelancers Union, and other coalition partners are working to expand these protections statewide.