Freelance Isn’t Free Slowly Moves Forward

After the New York state legislature passed Freelance Isn’t Free in June, elected officials nationwide—and NWU’s legislative work—took a summer break. Now, heading into fall and 2023, we have several legislative campaigns going across the country, and plenty of opportunities to get involved.
In New York, we’re still waiting for Governor Kathy Hochul to sign Freelance Isn’t Free into law. It’s likely she’ll do so after the upcoming election, and before the end of the year. If she doesn’t seem inclined to pass it, we may need to gently remind her to do so. Either way, there are other legislative projects and coalitions that we’re involved with that will need our support next year. The city council in New York is also in the early stages of passing a bill to lower the FIF enforcement threshold, which will enable us to extend protections to even more freelancers.
On the other side of the country, LA’s city council is on the verge of introducing its own version of Freelance Isn’t Free. We’re waiting to get the full language of their bill, and there are some open questions about LA’s intended enforcement mechanism and how many freelancers will be covered.
We’re also in the early stages of campaigns in Illinois, where we’ve started having meetings with legislators about sponsoring the bill, and in Columbus, Ohio, where we’ve met with a member of the city council. We’re optimistic about these campaigns, and would love to have members in the relevant areas get involved.
As in New York, we’ll likely need to wait until after Election Day in order to really get started, but there are lots of different bills in the works, and some really exciting chances to help build power for writers and freelancers nationwide!
Over recent months, FSP has established a notable presence in Columbus, Ohio, showing solidarity with other local unions like Columbus Museum of Art Workers United, Wexner Arts Workers United, attending and speaking at a labor rally with other local unions like the Columbus Education Association, Starbucks Workers United, and many others, the union is growing in tandem with other new labor movements in the city. Columbus FSP is also working with Columbus City Council Member Rob Dorans to draft Freelance Isn’t Free legislation for the city, which is expected to be drafted sometime this year. we’ve also met with members of the Columbus, OH, city council. We’re optimistic and would love to have members in the relevant areas get involved.
Taylor Dorrell contributed to this report.