LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Freelance workers in Los Angeles are set to receive more protections with the City Council's adoption Friday of an ordinance intended to protect the industry.
The ordinance requires that any contract of $600 or more between employers and freelance workers must be in writing, with a date by which the freelancer must be paid. If the contract doesn't include a date or if there is no written contract, employers must pay freelancers within 30 days after the work is completed. Freelance workers can sue employers for alleged violations of the ordinance.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who first introduced a motion in January 2021, said that the ordinance will "provide basic protections to another group of vulnerable workers -- freelancers who are not `employees' -- including the right to prompt payment for services rendered."
"I'm proud to stand with the independent entrepreneurs who help make Los Angeles such a vibrant and creative community," Blumenfield said.
There are over 300,000 freelancers in Los Angeles, which is the second largest population of freelancers in the country, according to Blumenfield's office.
The councilman said he partnered with the Freelancers Union and other advocates to work on so-called "Freelance Isn't Free" legislation, which has been passed in other cities such as New York City and Seattle.
Rafael Espinal, executive director of the Freelancers Union, said that freelancers make up over a third of the country's workforce, but that "our social infrastructure hasn't kept up with this change, and many freelancers struggle with basic things like getting paid for the work that they do."
Nearly three-quarters of freelancers have reported issues with payments, according to Blumenfield's office.
"With the passage of this law, Los Angeles is setting the precedent for a long-awaited state and national bill that makes payment protections for all workers the standard and will provide a major victory for the hundreds of thousands of freelancers who contribute to the city's economy," Espinal said. "We are proud to have worked alongside L.A. City Council legislators, including Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, in making sure freelancers don't get left behind."