Protecting Employers Since 1985

Independent Contractor Protection Laws

NEW LAWS SPRINGING UP: With the change in our national economy and workforce tilting more and more towards “self-employment” and independent contractor status, new laws are springing up, both state and federal, to respond. Some of these new laws intend to punish companies who “misclassify” employees by (incorrectly) calling them independent contractors.

NEW YORK LAW TO PROTECT INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS: On November 16, 2016, New York City Mayor de Blasio signed the Freelance Isn’t Free Act. This creative new law was designed to uniquely PROTECT independent contractors who are not paid their contract fees. Under the law, there are harsh penalties for “employers” who stiff freelancers or delay payment to freelancers. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act defines a “freelance worker” as “any natural person or organization composed of no more than one natural person, whether or not incorporated or employing a trade name, that is hired or retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to provide services in exchange for compensation.”

The law will impose double damages and attorneys’ fees for any litigation which is successful in finding violations of the law. The law will also require “employers” to pay freelancers in full no later than 30 days after the contracted for services are completed.

LEGISLATIVE TREND TO ACCEPT LEGITIMATE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS: It is significant that there is a legislative trend growing nationwide to accept that there are legitimate independent contractors (and that they are important to our economy)-and that laws are needed to ensure the fair treatment of the independent contractors.

Questions? Contact Attorney Nancy E. Joerg in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at najoerg@wesselssherman.com

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