If you are a freelancer then you may have caught wind of the large victory made in New York City recently with the passing of the Freelance Isn’t Free Act with 51 votes in favor of it.
For those who do not know, this act was put in place to ensure that freelancers (already accounting for 55 million people in the workforce) were paid in a timely manner by those they offer their services to. This also makes sure that contracts will be put in place so that in the case of a non-payment, freelancers can report to the Department of Labor Standards and have a means to fight for unpaid work.
You must be thinking “Finally!” because how many freelancers have money out there waiting to be directly deposited into their bank accounts or have borderline had to harass a company for your payment? Probably far too many and it will continue until we have this type of act everywhere.
People see freelancers as a means to populate work from many different areas because most work remotely–at a per piece type pay style, but many times this payment never happens and freelancers should not be expected to work for free or for far below a livable wage.
I, for one, am hoping this major act in one of the world’s major cities will start to spill over to many other cities as well and should be a requirement instead of something freelancers have to fight for. It’s really hard to sit there and have to wait on someone else to pay you when you aren’t getting a regular paycheck and it’s even worse when you have to fight for that money at times.
To play it safe, I always say it’s best to have a contract on-hand ready to send clients you are working for. It’s a binding agreement and has legal standings which could help you in the long run. Does it always work? No, but it’s always good to have an agreement in case you need to bring non-payment issues into the legal realm.
A great new website offering the ability to see if your clients have checked and read over an invoice you sent is AND CO. They offer great invoicing, time tracking and reporting capabilities. Check them out!
In the meantime, let’s hope this act continues to move forward so we do not need to worry about creating these agreements and that pay should be a requirement and not something we need to keep on top of.
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