Who Attends These Meeting In New York City:
Attendees included folks from New Jersey, Brooklyn, Westchester, Yonkers, and any other area where writers, journalists, and authors want to come and listen to a presentation that supports and benefits their career in writing.
On Wednesday night, November 8th, the DCA’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS) Felice Segura and Alberto Roldan, NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs Office of Labor Policy and Standards gave a training session on the City Council Bill – Freelance Isn’t FREE. We learned how the new law, that went into effect May 15, 2017, and the first of its kind in the US, makes non-payment to freelancers a crime and sets a time limit to pay for work completed. Those found guilty can face having to pay double damages, attorney’s fees, and civil penalties.
We also received a copy of the Workers’ Bill of Rights published by the Consumer Affairs, Lorelei Salas, Commissioner. I bet most writers have never seen or read the 13-page booklet and are aware of their rights.
We also received a brochure from the NYC Office of the Mayor, also published by Consumer Affairs titled “Protecting NYC’s Freelance Workers, which included an overview of Rights and Resources. Freelance workers in NYC now have legal rights and a dedicated City resource for workplace questions and complaints. The Office of Labor Policy and Standards (OLPS) within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
This organization will be tracking complaints in a database to track the history of “non-payers” for reference and tracking habitual lawbreakers of the Freelance Isn’t Free Act.
Covered under this law are:
- Writers and Journalists, of course
- Film and video
- Graphic and web design
- Home contracting and repair media
- Also included are all talents and trades covered under the membership of the National Writers Union.
Surprisingly, you do not have to live in New York to benefit from this new law, but the hiring party has to have a business in New York.
Writers are finally receiving the protection from non-payment contracts and flaky companies who have taken advantage of the freelance writer and contract writer.
You are encouraged to contact the Consumer Affairs in New York for advice and reporting. Dial 311 and ask for “Freelance Workers,” or just visit the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) at nyc.gov/dca.
Read about this phenomenal new law that has already begun protecting writers, graphic and web designers, photographers, and translators of all kinds. If you are viewing this article and reside in another state, contact your state's Consumer Affairs Department and ensure the "Freelance Isn't Free" law is in the process of being made law in the state you reside. Several states have already taken the initiative to add this law to their states regulations. If they haven't, ask when they will initiate protection for writers and journalists, and why they haven't done so?