The headline reads: NYC Passes First Freelancer Wage Theft Protections In The Nation. It’s an article on the Gothamist written by
Called the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, a name many of us can relate to, it aims to solve the problem freelance writers and other freelancers getting stiffed by clients. The law will go into place in late May of next year as I understand it.
To my non lawyerly eye, it looks like a pretty decent law. Contracts required to enforce, and any gig totally $800 or more is covered. If the freelancer wins, the employer will have to pay the freelancers court costs and employers are prohibited from retaliating.
Even Money Magazine agrees this kind of law is a great idea. They point out that as we move more and more into the so-called gig economy workers need protection.
How can you promote Freelance Isn’t Free?
Would you like to see a law asserting that freelance isn’t free in your state or city? Here’s how I might proceed:
Contact any local writers group in your area and see if they’re interested in working with you. The Write Life has an article called Want to Join a Writing Group? 8 Places to Look that will get you started finding such a group.
When you have a short handful of interested writers and other freelancers – everyone from gig drivers to builders, contact the Freelance Writers Union and ask them how they did it. Chances are they started by talking with local officials. Local could be city or state, or even county.
It would help to compile some statistics about how many freelancers get stiffed for how much in your area every year. Or the most recent year. When you add this to how many freelancers there are, you’ve probably got a substantial voting block – which is exactly what you need.
Give it a try – with some real effort this could become a national movement. If you do such a thing please keep me posted. This blog is seen across the country and I’d be delighted to serve as a news point for such a movement. Just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if the picture above doesn’t mean anything, look it up – Unions really have helped labor, lots.
Write (and organize) well,