Panel Discussion

Freelance Isn't Free Legislation
and What to do When They Dont Pay

Six years after the Freelance Isn’t Free Act went into effect in New York City, versions of the law have been passed in Los Angeles, Columbus, Illinois, and New York State. But what does it mean for freelancers in and out of those places? And how can it be used to make sure freelancers have the freedom to negotiate for higher pay and the right to get paid on time (among other basic rights)? Gain insight into the legislation from Eric Thurm, campaign coordinator at the National Writers Union and an organizer with the Freelance Solidarity Project, moderated by Katherine Reynolds Lewis (of IIJ) while we answer questions from two freelancers who navigated the legislative process.

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Katherine Lewis

Panel Moderator
Katherine Reynolds Lewis is the founder of the Institute for Independent Journalists, whose mission is the financial and emotional sustainability of freelancers of color, and a columnist for Nieman Reports on media careers and equity in journalism. 

Eric Thurm

Eric Thurm is the Campaign Coordinator for the National Writers Union, a member of the Organizing Committee of the Freelance Solidarity Project, and a story editor for narrative non-fiction podcasts. In the past two years, NWU has been integral to the passage of legislation protecting freelancers statewide in Illinois and New York, as well as in the cities of Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio. 

Keisha "TK" Dutes

Keisha "TK" Dutes is an audio producer/executive producer, educator, and talent. With experience spanning terrestrial radio, online, podcast, since 2005, her life in audio is all encompassing. Her most recent offering on NPR Life Kit is about "How to Mind Your own Business" and currently, she is helping people bring their podcasts to life via her company, Philo's Future Media. TK also serves as a board member for Association of Independents in Radio.


Charles is a NYC-based freelance film crew worker, with over 20 years experience. 

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