On November 17, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, which protects certain independent contractors from wage theft by employers. The Act applies to “freelance workers” who are defined as (i) any natural person or (ii) any organization “composed of no more than one natural person, whether or not incorporated or employing a trade name” that is hired or retained as an independent contractor to provide services in exchange for compensation. The Act does not apply to attorneys, medical professionals, or sales representatives. Employers under the Act are referred to as “hiring part[ies]” and are defined as any person who retains a freelance worker other than governmental entities.
The law requires that the freelance worker and the hiring party enter into a written contract when the services are valued at $800 or more. This valuation includes all services provided by the freelance worker for the same hiring party within a 120-day period. The written contract must contain the following information:
- The name and mailing address of the freelance worker and the hiring party
- An itemization of all services to be provided by the freelance worker
- The value of the services to be provided
- The rate and method of compensation
- The date on which the hiring party must pay the contracted compensation or the mechanism by which such date shall be determined.