Freelance Isn't Free Act

Freelance Isn't Free Act

On May 15, 2017, Local Law 140 of 2016 took effect. The law establishes and enhances protections for freelance workers, specifically the right to:

  • A written contract
  • Timely and full payment
  • Protection from retaliation

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.

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.

This law also requires OLPS to receive complaints, create a court navigation program, and gather data and report on the effectiveness of the law.

Are you a freelance worker in NYC? Know your rights

Do you hire freelance workers? Know your responsibilities

Laws and Rules

New York City Administrative Code > Title 20: Consumer and Worker Protection > Chapter 10: Freelance Workers

Rules of the City of New York > Title 6: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection > Chapter 7: Office of Labor Policy and Standards > Subchapter E: Freelance Workers

Press Releases and Reports

11/01/2023: Read report: 5-Year Report on NYC's Freelance Isn't Free Act

10/26/2023: Read press release: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection and Freelancers Union Celebrate Launch of NYC Free Tax Prep Services for Self-Employed Filers

07/12/2023: Read release: Mayor Adams Announces Settlement With Media Company L’Officiel USA Over Violations of Freelance Isn't Free Act

09/28/2022: Read press release: Freelancers Union Opens Its Doors: A Hub for NYC's Independent Workforce

05/15/2018: Read press release: New York City Sues French Fashion Media Company L'Officiel USA for Failing to pay NYC Freelancers

05/15/2018: Read report: Demanding Rights in an On-Demand Economy: Key Findings from Year One of NYC’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act

05/15/2018: Read press release: Freedom for Freelancers: Department of Consumer Affairs Releases Report Marking the First Year of the Freelance Isn't Free Act

05/15/2017: Read press release: Freelancers Aren't Free: Mayor Announces First in Nation Protections for Freelance Workers

11/16/2016: Read press release: Mayor Bill de Blasio Signs Legislation Strengthening Protections for Freelance Workers