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Freelance isn’t Free: Nonpayment is Theft (Bitch Media)

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“FREELANCERS REJOICE: A HISTORIC NYC LAW HELPS FREELANCERS DEMAND PAYMENT,” by Victoria Law, Bitch Media, October 28, 2016:

Excerpt:

On Thursday, October 27, freelancers throughout New York City had cause to celebrate. By a unanimous vote, all 51 members of the New York City Council passed the Freelance Isn’t Free Act. It’s the nation’s first legislation protecting freelancers from non-payment….

Under the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (or 1017-C), introduced by Council member Brad Lander, freelancers now have greater protections. For example, freelancers must be paid no later than 30 days after they have completed the services agreed upon. For work worth $800 or more, the Act also requires a written contract that spells out what services have been agreed upon as well as the agreed upon rate and date of payment. The Department of Consumer Affairs will provide model contracts in English and six other languages commonly spoken in the city for freelancers to use or model their own contracts. In addition, the client can no longer tell a freelancer, “We can pay you faster, but you’ll have to accept less.”

If a client still doesn’t pay, the freelancer still has the option to bring the client to court. But now, the onus is on the client to prove that they shouldn’t have to pay the freelancer. And if the client doesn’t have a good reason for paying what they owe, a judge can award the freelancer both double damages as well as attorney’s fees….” [Link to full article.]

Freelancers in Oregon will need to research state and local laws in order to find their own legal remedies for nonpayment for goods and services. Visit a public law library and talk to a lawyer to find out self-help, small claims court, and other legal options.