National Writers Union|Chicago

The Freelance Worker Protection Act Is Law in Illinois

The National Writers Union has been calling for the Freelance Worker Protection Act’s enactment since it sailed through the legislature earlier this year. On Friday, Governor Pritzker came through. It’s a moment for gratitude and celebration.

What will this law do for Illinois’ independently employed workers when it takes effect, July 1 of next year? A graphic put together by the office of bill sponsor Will Guzzardi summarizes the law’s provisions:

How does this play out for workers in the real world, though? Action for non-payment brought against L’Officiel by the city of New York, where a closely-aligned predecessor to the new Illinois law has been in place since 2017, illustrates the impact these protections can have. There, a double-damages award to 41 stiffed media workers came to $275k.

“A moment to celebrate” doesn’t mean “time to kick back.” The need for worker protections on the Freelance Isn’t Free model is nation-wide, and it’s dire. Illinoisans can notch a new signal labor achievement — a fitting follow-up to last year’s historic Workers’ Rights Amendment victory. Ours is so far the only state in the country to have made these statutory gains, however. The struggle is at early stages. To learn more, read the National Writers Union’s press statement on the Illinois bill’s signing and broader national effort.