New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed New York state bill S5026, known as the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, into law. The law is intended to protect freelance and contract workers—including authors, journalists, and other writers on contract—from wage theft, and to ensure that they are paid in a timely manner, with state support provided to help them recoup unpaid wages.

Originally submitted in February 2022, by state senator Andrew Gounardes and assembly member Harry Bronson, as S8369, the bill was passed by the state senate last June, and passed the assembly in July, backed by strong support from such organizations as the Authors Guild. Still, the bill was vetoed by Hochul that December, with the governor expressing support for the bill in principle but citing cost as an issue. The nearly identical S5026 was submitted this February. Both bills follow the act of the same name passed in New York City in 2017.

“From Rochester to Rhinebeck, all work deserves pay,” said Freelancers Union executive director Rafael Espinal said in a statement. “This Thanksgiving, we are thankful that New York State is committing to protections for freelancers by providing them that basic right.”