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Freelance Isn’t Free Takes Impact In Illinois


The Freelance Employee Safety Act, an iteration of “Freelance Isn’t Free”, went into impact on July 1st, 2024. This laws supplies protections for unbiased contractors who create services or products in Illinois or who work for a hiring entity positioned in Illinois. 

This legislation will safeguard freelance staff’ rights and tackle the prevalent situation of non-payment, reflecting a rising recognition of the significance of defending this very important workforce sector. Freelancing represents a quickly increasing and very important phase of the financial system. In 2022, 60 million Individuals freelanced, constituting 39% of the workforce and contributing $1.35 trillion to the nationwide financial system.

Nevertheless, most freelancers lack fundamental labor protections, notably well timed fee. In accordance with research carried out by Freelancers Union, 71% of freelancers skilled late or non-payment, with 59% residing paycheck to paycheck. Moreover, the bulk function with out written contracts, as solely 25% persistently have them.

The Freelance Employee Safety Act supplies fundamental protections when the worth of the freelance work is the same as or larger than $500 in a 120-day interval, together with:

  • A written contract outlining the services and products to be supplied, the dates by which companies are to be carried out, and the speed and technique of compensation (pattern out there on-line, and free Union contract templates out there
  • 30-day fee phrases, except in any other case specified within the contract.
  • Safety in opposition to coercion for sooner fee.
  • Anti-retaliation measures in opposition to freelancers pursuing fee.
  • Double damages for non-payment, overlaying prices and legal professional’s charges.

“The Freelance Employee Safety Act establishes a framework of comprehensible and clear expectations for unbiased staff in Illinois, to higher defend their work, and compensation,” mentioned Illinois Division of Labor Director Jane Flanagan.

The legislation solely applies to freelance contracts taking impact after July 1, 2024. It doesn’t apply to people performing development companies, nor does it apply to workers of an employer. Workers owed again wages from their employer could file a wage declare with the Division of Labor right here.

“Freelance staff, like all staff, need to have fundamental protections like well timed pay and the best to a written contract,” mentioned State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago). “Many freelancers say they stay test to test; these protections guarantee there are clear expectations for the employees and hiring entities.”

Ceaselessly requested questions and a pattern freelance employee contract (which is on the market in a number of commonly-spoken languages) could be discovered on the Division’s web site: labor.illinois.gov/freelance.

In 2017, New York Metropolis pioneered the ‘Freelance Is not Free Act,’ permitting freelancers to get well unpaid wages. Since then, freelancers in New York have reclaimed over $2.5 million in unpaid invoices, but this quantity represents solely a fraction of what’s owed. We’re trying ahead to seeing related success with the Freelance Employee Safety Act in Illinois, and can proceed to work to broaden these protections nationwide.

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