“…unlike traditional employees, [freelancers] lack any labor protections to ensure that [they] get paid for the work [they] do. Freelancers Union found that 77% of independent workers have experienced nonpayment at one point, and in the last year alone, more than 40% of New York’s freelancers had trouble getting paid.” –Freelancers Union campaign letter to support NY Bill S8084
For anyone who remembers the Digital Railroad debacle or who has been stiffed by a deadbeat client, the Freelancers Union has started a campaign to draw up support for New York State Legislature bill S8084. The proposed law, sponsored by New York State Senator Daniel L. Squadron, would: grant freelancers the same wage protection as traditional employees, require the Department of Labor to pursue freelancers’ unpaid wages, and holds deadbeat executives personally liable for up to $20,000 and jail time. If you’re in New York, you can join the campaign by emailing your state senator through the Freelancers Union website. And for balance, here’s a New York City lawyer’s opinion that the law is misguided or, at least, won’t help freelancers who are already at the mercy of a patchwork of confusing laws.