When a client doesn’t pay you for freelance services, your main recourse is to claim breach of contract. But now, one city is taking steps to help freelancers get paid.
New York City just passed the first law that expressly protects the right of freelancers to get paid. The law goes into effect in May 2017 and, in short, creates penalties for businesses that fail to timely pay a freelancer.
According to the new law:
This new law gives a lot of power to a freelancer that is stiffed by a client. Specifically, they can file a complaint with the newly created New York City Office of Labor Standards who will require the client respond to formal notices (and thus speed up the dispute resolution process).
Perhaps most importantly, the law:
In my opinion, this is simple. Businesses should always use written contracts with freelancers for a number of reasons.
Unfortunately, not much. This law is specific to New York City. But my recommendation is for Kansas City freelancers to pay close attention to how this law impacts the freelance community in New York City. My guess is it will be very beneficial for freelancers and also somewhat beneficial to clients. However, I’m also slightly concerned about whether it goes too far and might be unfair in some situations when a freelancer doesn’t fully perform and they file a complaint anyway.
But those kinks will be worked out and, maybe in the future we can enact something similar in Kansas City or at the state level in Missouri and/or Kansas.
Don’t ignore this next step!
Find an attorney that works on freelance agreements on a regular basis and engage him or her to create a template library for you. Together, you can create templates that align with the way you run your business and can help you negotiate better project terms.
For more, you might check out our post on the Two Contracts Every Freelancer Needs.
(This article is general in nature and is not legal advice. Image: Adobe/alexbrylovhk)
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