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The Freelance Isn’t Free Act law took effect on May 15, 2017. This NYC law establishes protections for freelance workers. FIFA defines a freelance worker as “any natural person or 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 by a hiring party to provide services in exchange for compensation.”

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FIFA requires hiring parties that retain freelance workers to provide any service for a value of $800 or more, to reduce their agreement to a written contract. The $800 threshold is reached either by itself or when aggregated with all contracts for services during the preceding 120 days.

The contract must include, at a minimum, the following information: the name and address of both the hiring party and the freelance worker, an itemized list of the services that will be provided and the value of those services, the rate and method of compensation, and the date on which payment is due or the mechanism by which such date will be determined.

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If no payment due date is indicated in the contract, the hiring party must pay the freelance worker within 30 days of the completion of services.

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A hiring party is also prohibited from threatening, intimidating, disciplining, harassing, denying a work opportunity, or discriminating against a freelance worker who exercises his or her rights under FIFA.

The law establishes penalties for violations of these rights, including statutory damages, double damages, injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees. Individual causes of action will be adjudicated in state court. Furthermore, where there is evidence of a pattern or practice of violations, the Corporation Counsel may bring civil action to recover a civil penalty of not more than $25,000.

Please contact an attorney at Franklin, Gringer & Cohen, P.C. to draft a compliant contract.


“FREELANCE ISN’T FREE ACT (FIFA)” was written by Jasmine Y. Patel.