The Los Angeles City Council has passed a city-wide version of Freelance Isn’t Free, which will enact some much-needed basic protections for freelancers in the city. The city’s iteration of the law is comparatively limited, applying only to freelancers who live in the city of Los Angeles proper. However, we are confident that the LA Freelance Isn’t Free ordinance will serve as a proof of concept and foundation for a statewide Freelance Isn’t Free campaign in California, which will hopefully have more enforcement power from the state’s Labor Commissioner.
NWU-FSP has remained active on the steering committee of the Fund Excluded Workers coalition, which is working to improve the safety net for many of New York’s precarious workers. The coalition is fighting to pass the Unemployment Bridge Program, a substitute for traditional unemployment benefits that would be accessible to freelancers, cash economy workers, undocumented workers, recently incarcerated workers, and more. There is substantial support for UBP among the state legislature, in part because of the role freelancers have played in the coalition—but the battle to pass UBP remains challenging, especially given tension over budget negotiations between the legislature and the governor. With the budgeting process likely to continue beyond the April 1st deadline, it will be increasingly important for members to join the coalition in a series of actions highlighting the need for this program.