If a publication has not paid you within 30 days of delivering a finalized assignment, consider filing a Freelance Isn’t Free Act complaint with the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection!

While the Freelance Isn’t Free Act technically only applies if either the publication or the freelancer is based in New York City, the Industrial Workers of the World Freelance Journalists Union — which is based in New York — has been advised that it may be able to serve as a go-between.

Filing the complaint should trigger the New York City Office of Labor Policy and Standards to contact the publication for a response within 20 days. Even if this pressure isn’t enough to get you paid, it will provide a legal paper trail that may be helpful in further efforts to retrieve payment (for example, in small claims court).

To file a Freelance Isn’t Free Act complaint:

  1. Fill out the online form with the required information about yourself, the publication, and the assignment. If you are uncertain about using your own mailing address, please email the IWW FJU Legal Committee.
  2. If you require further assistance, please email the IWW FJU Legal Committee at [email protected]