Creative Careers  | Labor Law Updates

Creative Careers  | Labor Law Updates

With Labor Day coming up, learn about recent labor law updates. 

In order to keep NYFA Classifieds a reliable resource full of valuable opportunities for the creative communities we serve, our team stays up to date on recent labor laws. When reviewing listings, we keep in mind the helpful labor laws put in place to ensure your work is properly compensated, and employees/applicants are treated fairly. Below you’ll find summarized main points around recent labor law updates, as well as helpful resources that we use to stay informed.

Freelance Isn’t Free Act in New York City

This law took effect May 15, 2017 to further protect the rights of those working in freelance positions. These rights extend to freelance individuals regardless of immigration status. The act requires that the hiring party and worker obtain a written contract (where value of services >$800), and that the worker is paid based on a set deadline in the written contract. If no date is set in the contract, the hiring party must provide compensation within 30 days after completion of the work. Employers cannot retaliate (ex. deny work) against a freelancer that exercises their rights under this act. 

Resource for freelance workers in NYC.

Resource for those hiring freelance workers.

Salary History in New York City

Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill that makes it unlawful for hiring parties to inquire about an applicant’s salary history and other compensation. This bill aims at continuing to close the gender pay gap by prohibiting practices that perpetuate this problem. The law will go into effect in October, but NYFA is already honoring this new law through our job board. Similar laws have been passed in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Resource from The New York City Council.  

New York State Paid Family Leave

In 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law the New York State Paid Family Leave program. Starting in 2018 and phasing in over 4 years, this law will provide New Yorkers with job-protected paid leave time to care for and bond with a new child, time off when a family member has been notified of an impending call or order of active service, and time to spend with a loved ones should they have a serious health condition. 

Resource from for more information. 

Unpaid Internships

Though this is not a recent update, it is an important topic when it comes to labor standards. Internships used as highly educational experiences, with skills and knowledge gained that are applicable to a larger industry, are valuable to our creative communities. NYFA aims to share those opportunities that clearly present value to our audience. In order to be published on our site, unpaid internships or those paid below minimum wage, must highlight the educational benefits to be gained by the intern and the employer must not indicate that the position may lead to a job.

According to the US Department of Labor, internships can only be excluded from minimum wage and overtime provisions if an employment relationship does not exist. In order to ensure that an employment relationship does not exist, your internship should adhere to the following requirements:

1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;

2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;

5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship;

6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

Potentially Discriminatory Wording

It is NYFA’s policy not to publish job advertisements that require an applicant to disclose race, national origin or age, in accordance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s regulations ( 

It is also NYFA’s policy not to publish job advertisements that show a preference for or discourages someone from applying for a job because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. In accordance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s regulations, language such as “college students” or “recent college graduates” for example, may discourage older applicants, therefore violating the law, as stated on this link (

We hope that this is a helpful resource for both job seekers and those looking to hire on NYFA Classifieds. Enjoy your Labor Day! 

This post is part of a regular blog series, NYFA Creative Careers. Learn more and share your thoughts by visiting us on Twitter: @nyfacurrent and using the hashtag #NYFACreativeCareers.

Find jobs on NYFA Classifieds.

– Molly Martin, Account Manager, Classifieds

Image: Alexandra Pacula (Fellow in Painting ‘10)

Amy Aronoff
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