Heads Up: The Freelance Isn’t Free Act is Now in Effect

November 25, 2020



Last year, the Freelancers Union lobbied for a landmark piece of legislation in New York City. The bill was called the “Freelance Isn’t Free Act” (FIFA) and it was designed to protect independent workers from clients who fail to pay them for their services.
After passing in October, FIFA took effect May 15, and therefore the following terms are now law in New York:

  • Contracts are required for any work between a contractor and a company for individual that totals $800 or more. This also includes scenarios in which multiple projects adding up to $800 are completed over the course of 120 days.
  • The contract must include: full contact info for both parties; an itemized list of services rendered (SOW); the date/method of payment and the date in which payment is due. Since that can be a lot to remember, we’ve partnered with the Freelancers Union to create the Standard Freelance Contract. Just fill out the details of your engagement there, and you’ll be on your way!
  • Forget to include a payment due date? FIFA states that the hiring party must pay the contractor within 30 days of the project end date.
  • If a client fails to pay, FIFA outlines penalties for violating freelancers rights, which include damages, fines to cover legal fees and more. Want to nudge your client in a more serious fashion? For $3 you can send a physical demand letter to late-paying clients.

The passing of FIFA marked a big day for the freelance community. Today, we’re proud to stand with the Freelancers Union in support of the rights of independent workers everywhere.



Arielle is a freelance writer and content strategist who writes for publications like TrendLand, Travel Dose, The Culture Trip and VIVA Lifestyle & Travel. In her free time, she loves watching documentary films, listening to 70s folk, and teaching meditation (perhaps all at the same time).

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