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New York’s ‘Freelance Isn’t Free’ law now in effect

New York City’s “Freelance Isn’t Free Act [1]” law took effect Monday, putting in place new rules on how buyers must deal with independent contractors.

“Freelancers aren’t free,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “It’s now the law in New York City that they be paid on time, have the written contracts they deserve and have the tools to defend their rights.”

The city had an event rolling out the law on Monday.

“Starting today, New York City will be the first city in the nation to protect freelancers and independent contractors from getting stiffed,” New York City Council Member Brad Lander said in a statement.

According to the city, the law:

The law affects an estimated 500,000 freelance workers, according to the city. Penalties under the law can range to as high as $25,000 for buyers with a pattern of violations.

Attorney Cindy Schmitt Minniti of law firm Reed Smith told Crain’s New York Business [2] that buyers must make sure their contracts have been reviewed; damages under the law are much lower than potential difficulties if a court finds employees have been misclassified as independent contractors.