What is the NYS Freelance Isn’t Free Act?

April 8, 2024

Employment Law

Governor Hochul recently signed the Freelance Isn’t Free Act which will go into effect on May 20, 2024, and will only apply to contracts entered on or after that date. This law mirrors the guidelines provided in New York City’s law of the same name, which we have previously covered – here.

There are several significant aspects of this law, as listed below:

  • Defines “freelance worker” as “any natural person or 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.
  • Whenever a hiring party retains the services of a freelance worker, the terms must be reflected in a written contract between the parties. This could be a physical or electronic copy but must include certain information such as the names of the parties, mailing addresses, date of hire, compensation information, among other information.
  • The hiring party must retain a copy of the contract for six years.
  • The contracted compensation shall be paid to the freelance worker either on the date the contract is made, or no later than 30 days after the completion of the freelance worker’s services.
  • A hiring party may not “threaten, intimidate, discipline, harass or discriminate against a freelance worker that exercise or attempts to exercise any right under this law.”

This law has provided ample protections for freelance workers by requiring written contracts and timely payments.  Employers should be cautious of this legislation to ensure they are complying with its requirements to avoid civil and/or criminal penalties.



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