Update: Freelance Isn’t Free

20 Feb

unpaid wages flyer

Last spring I posted about lobbying in Albany with the Freelancers Union for the Freelancer Payment Protection Act (S4129). The great news is that it passed in the Assembly last fall, with a vote of 84 to 58, where it was introduced by Speaker Silver (D) and Senators Golden (R), Lanza (R), and Squadron (D). Why is this important? In 2010, research showed that New York State’s self-employed lost $4.7 billion due to client nonpayment, not to mention that recovery and payment of unpaid wages would generate $323 million in tax revenue for New York State. In order to pass this landmark bill in the New York State Senate so it becomes law, we need your help. Here’s what you can do to help Empire State independent workers get paid:

  • Sign the petition in support of the Freelancer Payment Protection Act.
  • Email or phone your State Senator in support of the Freelancer Payment Protection Act. You can find their contact information at http://www.nysenate.gov/. Copy and paste the following text, or use it as a script for your call:

    Pass the Freelancer Payment Protection Act (S4129)

    As a resident of your district, and the (parent/sibling/relative/friend) of a New York freelancer, I know that Freelancers often struggle to collect owed wages from clients. Yet unlike traditional employees, Freelancers lack any labor protections to ensure that they get paid for the work they do. A recent study by Rutgers University economist William Rodgers shows that 42% of independent workers in New York State had trouble collecting payment in 2010, totaling an estimated $4.7 billion in lost wages.

    The bipartisan Freelancer Payment Protection Act (S4129) was introduced to provide the same wage protection to independent contractors that New York has provided to employees for decades. Rather than having independent contractors waste time and money pursuing owed wages on their own—through small claims court or by hiring an attorney—this bill would allow them to file a claim through the New York State Department of Labor. This solution not only helps the individual but also could help New York State recoup millions in state tax revenue that is lost every year due to client nonpayment.

    As your constituent, I ask that you please co-sponsor S4129 to ensure that my (child/sibling/relative/friend)—and every worker—can collect the money that they have rightfully earned.


    (Your Name)

  • Donate to the Freelancers Union Political Action Committee.
  • If you are an independent worker, join Freelancers Union.
  • Spread the word to your friends & family, and ask them to join you. Download and attach the flyer at the top of this post, which you can also print, and hang up or distribute.

3 Responses to “Update: Freelance Isn’t Free”

  1. flacklist May 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on flacklist.

  2. Gangule shame June 12, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    This is a nicely write-up. I really like your informative tips and Implement because I agree with you freelance union insurgence is an ever changing, as what you learn today maybe outdated tomorrow. I am very glad to here. Good job. Thanks.


  1. Getting Stiffed: An Infographic - Pages from Freelancers Union - March 16, 2012

    […] of Nonpayment,” a report we sponsored, to create this infographic that he posted on his blog. And these numbers are just in New York! If it makes you angry, harness that energy for change and […]

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