NYC Enacts Protection for Freelance Workers, Effective 5/15/17

A single person or an entity with only one person, engaged as an independent contractor by companies in New York City for work worth more than $800 (including multiple small projects within a 120 day period), is entitled to a written Freelance Contract that provides timely and full wage payment rights, prohibits retaliation if they exercise their rights, and provides penalties against companies for non-compliance.

A freelance worker can file a complaint with Department of Consumer Affairs’s (DCA) Office of Labor Policy & Standards. DCA will notify you if a complaint is filed against you. You must respond to the notice of complaint in writing within 20 days. If you do not respond and if the freelance worker files a civil action in court, the judge will presume that you committed the violations. If you have questions, email

 A freelance worker can file a civil action in court for violations of the law. If a court finds that you violated the law, you can be liable for damages—double damages for late payment or nonpayment; additional damages for failure to provide a written contract or retaliation—plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Form 137 Freelance worker contract, NYC Admin. Code Title 20, Chapter 10 §20-927 et seq., 6-17 will be available soon at