Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label Independent Contractors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Independent Contractors. Show all posts

Monday, March 04, 2024

Freelance Isn't Free Act Changed, RE Brokers / Salespersons Pay Attention

When it comes to the Freelance Isn't Free Act, out with the old and in with the new (A8535). 

The old law (Labor Law 191-d) was supposed to take effect on May 20, 2024 - no more. 

Now, a new version of the statewide Freelance Isn't Free Act will become effective August 28, 2024 and it authorizes the NYS Attorney General to sue and enforce the law. 

This version, passed on March 1, 2024, is at General Business Law Article 44-A. 

The new law applies to "one natural person" who earns at least $800 from the same hiring party within 120 days, except that the law doesn't apply to: 
  1. Independent contractor who solicit manufacturing orders in New York State;
  2. Lawyers;
  3. Doctors; and
  4. Construction contractors.
Under the new law, freelancers must be paid no later than when payment is due under the contract or within 30 days after completion of the freelancer's services under the contract. 

More importantly, all freelancers have a right to a written contract (hiring manager must keep for at least 6 years) that includes, at a minimum, 
  1. The name and mailing address of both the hiring party and the freelancer; 
  2. An itemization of all services to be provided by the freelancer with their value and the rate / method of compensation; 
  3. Payment date or method to determine such date; and
  4. Invoice date by freelancer.
Remember, the big change is that the NYS Attorney General is now involved, has a right to demand a copy of these contracts, and a failure to provide the contract to the Attorney General works a presumption that the freelancer's allegations of what is in the contract are correct. 

More so, the Attorney General is authorized to bring a lawsuit to enforce the law and obtain restitution for freelancers plus a penalty of $1,000 for a first violation $2,000 for a second violation, and $3,000 for a third and subsequent violations. 

Additionally, freelancers have a private right of action that can be brought within 2 years, or 6 years if it's for untimely payment or discriminatory retaliation after such freelancer insisted on their rights under the Freelance Isn't Free Act. 

Get this, untimely payment also gives the freelancer the ability to sue for their attorneys' fees and may give them the ability to obtain double damages in certain circumstances. 

Finally, there is a $25,000 penalty against hiring managers that violate the law by a pattern or practice. So, hiring managers - ALL NYS REAL ESTATE BROKERS - you better update your contracts immediately.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors: A Costly Mistake

Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can be devastating to an employer. Employers can potentially be liable for back wages, overtime pay, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees and stark penalties for failure to withhold applicable taxes, pay workers compensation and unemployment insurance. Learn how to avoid significant financial consequences prior to classifying them as independent contractors.

Read the full article by Mordy Yankovich, Esq. published in The Suffolk Lawyer here

Monday, March 18, 2019

Employers With Independent Contractors - What You Need To Know About The New Law Requiring Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Andrew Lieb, Esq. and Mordy Yankovich, Esq. clarify what employers need to know about the new NYS and NYC laws requiring sexual harassment prevention training.

Watch this clip and learn about your responsibilities and exposure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sexual Harassment Protections Extended to Independent Contractors in New York State

As of April 12, 2018, companies in the State of New York are now exposed to liability for harassment of independent contractors in the workplace.  The text of the new law can be found here. The New York State Human Rights Law previously only protected employees from sexual harassment.  While the statute does not specify whether companies can be held liable for acts of their independent contractors who sexually harass other independent contractors, the statute does state that when determining whether a company is liable for the acts of the harasser, the “extent of the employer’s control and any other legal responsibility which the employer may have with respect to the conduct of the harasser” should be considered.  This language appears to imply that companies such as real estate brokerages which subject independent contractors to substantial supervision (as required by 19 NYCRR §175.21(a) and Real Property Law §441(1)(d )), would be exposed to liability for all acts of harassment committed by their independent contractors.  It is thus imperative that brokerage firms immediately implement sexual harassment policies and trainings for their independent contractors in addition to their employees to mitigate potential exposure.