Freelance Isn't Free: Know Your Rights as a Freelancer

Learn about the Freelance Isn't Free law and how it protects NYC freelancers from nonpayment

Monday September 23
Classroom 3
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM


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Did you know that it’s against the law for freelancers in New York City to not be paid within 30 days of rendered services?  The Freelance Isn’t Free Law went into effect on May 15, 2017 to provide basic protections for freelance work that include mandatory contracts, 30-day payment terms, payment agreement protections, anti-retaliation, legal assistance, and double damages. This law covers NYC freelancers who are earning 1099 income, owed over $800 of work in a 4-month period. 

During this workshop, you will learn about the Freelance Isn't Free Law protections in place to better support freelancers in NYC, directly from the experts at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, Merlyne Jean-Louis Business & Entertainment Lawyer at Jean-Louis Law, P.C., and Freelancers Union staff.


What you will learn: 

1. Understand the basic protections for freelancers under the Freelance Isn't Free law

2. What to do if facing nonpayment or late payment as a freelancer

3. How to be compliant with the law as a hiring party


Presenter Bios:

Merlyne Jean-Louis, Esq. is the founder of Jean-Louis Law, P.C., a New York-based law firm that focuses on business and entertainment law. She provides counsel to entrepreneurs, content creators, social media influencers, small business owners, and creatives during every step of their business journeys.  

Merlyne is also a dance law commentator. She has discussed copyright law as it relates to choreography on CBS, NPR, The Verge, and the legal podcast Poplaw. She also was mentioned in the book Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance.

Merlyne obtained her J.D. from the Duke University School of Law and B.A. in Psychology and French from New York University. 

Merlyne can be reached at info@jllaw.net or 347-946-0597. You can find out more information about Jean-Louis Law, P.C. by visiting jllaw.net.


David Hernandez-Argueta is a Navigator at the Office of Labor Policy and Standards at the Department of Consumer Affairs. He has been with the agency since May of 2017. David is one half of the freelance team. During his time at OLPS, he has been tasked with fielding complaints under the Freelance law and has helped freelance workers collect over $300,000 in payments owed.