Originally appearing on shaymlawson.com By: Shay M Lawson Two weeks ago the New York City Council unanimously passed the Freelance Isn't Free bill. So here is what you need to know about it: It creates legal protections specifically for Freelancers It requires a written contract for any gig over $800 It requires payment no later than 30 days after the work has been completed It gives the State court power to award double fees and attorney fees if enforced It requires the Office of Labor to collect data on violators It creates fines of up to $25,000 for repeat offenders This is a huge step in favor of freelancers who have long had to chase down their money or often times not get paid with no legal recourse. This could literally change the landscape of freelancing forever. Keep in mind, until Mayor de Blasio signs it into law, and all the appropriate enforcement is taken, there is no clear sign of when (or if) the legislation will take effect. Until then, my freelancing friends, always get everything in writing. As a freelancer every single penny counts and you have no way of getting your money from a nonpaying client without a binding, written agreement. If it's enough money to get mad about, you need a contract for it. Moreover, if you need health insurance, tips on finance, general rights as a freelancer please check out The Freelancers Union that has a ton of resources and tools. If there were ever a time to rally support for a law, this would be it. If passed, this could change the game for freelancers everywhere.