A study by a Rutgers University economist revealed that 42 percent of New York State’s 900,000 independent workers had trouble getting paid last year. The average amount owed was $12,000, for a total of $4.7 billion in lost wages. These findings probably come as little surprise to freelancers familiar with creative payment policies like Time Inc.’s, which magnanimously permits contractors interested in getting paid in less than 25 days to forgo 1 percent to 4 percent of their total fee. Two bills are currently circulating in Albany to help freelancers file claims for late or lost wages, with fines for delinquent employers. The real problem, of course, is that with a dearth of opportunities, freelancers are scared to rock the boat, even if that boat paid them 60 days late. In the meantime, if you’ve been stiffed, you can out your non-paying client in the designated section of the Freelancers Union website. Or feel free to use our comments section for the same purpose.
“We have 90 percent of the bill agreed to and written. We just have some of the last decisions to be made.”