Changes To The Freelance Law In New York City

In the beginning of 2017, New York City adopted The Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers Act.  The law provides that a company must:

  • Provide a written contract to a freelance worker for services of $800 or more,
  • All payments to a freelancer must be paid on a timely basis and in full; and
  • Prohibits retaliatory action against a freelancer for exercising his or her right under the law.

Recently, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs adopted new rules under the law, which provides freelancers with additional protections. According to the new rules, a company is prohibited from waiving certain rights of a freelance worker. The following is a list of waivers and limitations that are prohibited:

  • Language waiving or limiting his or her right to “participate in or receive money or any other relief from any class, collective, or representative proceeding”.
  • Contractual waivers or limits of a procedural right in an action.
  • Any limitation or waiver on his or her right to disclose the terms their agreement with the Office of Labor Standards.

In addition, the new rules clarify past ambiguities in the law, specifically regarding anti-retaliation.  Here are a few of the following clarifications that have been made:

  • Adverse action means “any action by a hiring party or agent that constitutes a threat, intimidation, discipline, harassment, denial or work opportunity, discrimination, or any other act that penalizes or is reasonably likely to deter a freelancer from exercising any rights under the law.”
  • The value of a contract for what must be included is “the reasonable value of all actual or anticipated services, costs for supplies, and any other expenses under the contract.”
  • For companies in violation of the law, a freelancer may recover the “reasonable value of all services performed and/or anticipated, and reasonable costs for supplies and any other expenses reasonably incurred by the freelance worker.”

These rules and clarifications went into effect on July 24, 2017.

If you have concerns regarding employment law issues, contact the New York employment law attorney Steven Mitchell Sack to protect your rights. With two law offices conveniently located in New York City and East Meadow, New York, Mr. Sack is available to assist New York City and Long Island residents with their employment law issues. Call Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” at (917) 371-8000 or email him at

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