Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Freelancers

Freelancers

  • freelance photography photo dca

    Freelance photography (photo: NYC Department of Consumer & Worker Protection)


    In 2017, New York City’s “Freelance Isn’t Free” legislation took effect, giving gig workers crucial protections against exploitation and wage theft. State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Harry Bronson are now attempting to replicate the law state-wide with a new bill they introduced on Thursday that would expand state labor law protections to freelancers.

    The bill from Gounardes, a Brooklyn Democrat, and Bronson, a Rochester Democrat,

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  • gocvuomo center

    (photo: Don Pollard/Office of the Governor)


    This year, more than 40% of New Yorkers will be employed in the so-called gig economy, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his State of the State speech earlier this month. It was an acknowledgement that the nature of work is changing, or rather has changed, and also a concession that labor rules have not evolved to keep up. Gig economy workers lack the same benefits that full-time workers enjoy, which has helped billion-dollar companies make substantial profit on the backs of unprotected and often underpaid workers. And

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  • worker protections freelancers gig

    (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    I recently attended a fascinating panel on a topic that will be hotly-debated in Albany in 2020 – the regulation of the gig economy workforce. I listened to representatives from organized labor. We heard from spokespeople from technology platforms like Postmates and DoorDash. There were academics. There were even public officials, such as State Senator Diane Savino, the sponsor of a bill

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  • freelancers rally

    Council Members Rafael Espinal, left, & Brad Lander (photo: City Council)


    Two years ago, the New York City Council’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act went into effect, giving freelance workers legal protections against wage theft, delayed payments, employer retaliation, and lack of contracts for their work. The first-of-its-kind law has since allowed the city to recoup thousands of dollars in wages for

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  • Freelancers Rally

    Freelancers Union rally 


    In 2012 when I started bringing cases under the New York Labor Law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act the hot area was "independent contractor misclassification." Employers in the "on-demand" economy were (mis)classifying their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime or, in some cases, the minimum wage. Employers did not have to buy unemployment insurance, workers compensation, or pay the employer portion of payroll tax (FICA). Over the next few years, almost every player in the on-demand economy would

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