Attacks on employers for alleged misclassification of workers—particularly independent contractors—are continuing unabated, and the risk of liability for employers operating in New York City just increased. New York City has just adopted sweeping regulations requiring written contracts with certain freelancers and independent contractors. Anyone doing business in that jurisdiction should take notice and take action to comply with the law.
New York City’s “Freelance Isn’t Free Act,” N.Y.C. Administrative Code §§ 20-927 et seq. (“FIFA”) went into effect on May 15, 2017. This new law substantially regulates the relationship between a business and an independent contractor or “freelancer” working in New York City.
These regulations require that employers enter into a written contract with all independent contractors hired to provide services valued at $800 or more. The parties’ written contract must establish the nature of the services being performed, the amount to be paid, and the date of payment (or a statement of the conditions that determine when payment is to be made). The law allows independent contractors to bring a civil action to enforce rights under the act, and to recover compensation owed, statutory damages and attorneys’ fees.