Ping® by AdlerLaw July 2022 – Recent State Laws in Illinois & New York Affect Contractors, Interior Designers

This month’s issue of Ping® highlights recent changes in State laws in Illinois and New York. Effective January 1, 2023, Illinois joins at least 18 other states to have a Title Act authorizing Registered Interior Designers to seal any bound set or loose sheets of technical submissions. This change can only benefit everyone in the industry including, designers, tradespersons, and most importantly, consumers. Also noteworthy is New York’s legislative approval of NY State Senate Bill S8369B relating to protections for freelance workers. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act (the “Act”) if signed, would amend the New York Labor Law to establish rights for covered freelance workers such as the rights to receive a written contract, receive timely and full payment, and freedom from retaliation. 

Illinois: Legislation relating to Registration & the Scope of Practice of Interior Designers

Effective January 1, 2023, Illinois joins at least 18 other states to have a Title Act authorizing Registered Interior Designers to seal any bound set or loose sheets of technical submissions. This change can only benefit everyone in the industry, designers, tradespersons and most importantly, consumers as it will expedite some customary but often needlessly duplicated tasks.

The Title Act puts no stumbling blocks before those who wish be interior designers. These statutory provisions and rules do not regulate the practice of interior design – anyone can offer to provide and provide interior design services in Illinois. The Illinois act only regulates the use of a specific title – “Illinois Registered Interior Designer.”

Illinois is one of 19 states, including neighboring Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, that have voluntary title registration for interior designers with no permitting authority. In addition, 21 other states, including Michigan, have no title laws or permitting authority for interior designers at all. Proponents of regulating interior design submit that interior designer registration requires industry recognized credentialing and rigorous testing.

If you have questions about the Act’s application to your business, or about the pros/cons of becoming a Registered Interior Designer, or if you need assistance navigating the credentialing process, please feel to contact me for more information. (866)734-2568 and David [at] adler-law.com.

New York: State Legislature Approves Statutory Protections For Independent Contractors

New York’s legislative approval of NY State Senate Bill S8369B relating to protections for freelance workers. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act, if signed, would amend the New York Labor Law to establish rights for covered freelance workers such as the rights to receive a written contract, receive timely and full payment, and freedom from retaliation. 

The Act establishes protections for certain freelance workers providing services for entities located in the City. The New York State Legislature had earlier this month approved a bill providing similar protections to freelance workers throughout the state. If signed by the Governor, the Act will take effect 180 days after signing and apply to contracts entered into with certain independent contractors on or after that effective date. The Act mirrors the City-specific text in almost all respects and amends the New York Labor Law to establish protections for covered freelance workers, including establishing rights for covered freelance workers such as the rights to receive a written contract, receive timely and full payment, and freedom from retaliation.

Independent Contractors

If you or your business is contracted to perform specific work for an “employer,” according to your own process, using your own resources, and outside the daily control of the employer, you are an independent contractor. Independent contractors are not considered employees. This creates risk and benefits for both parties. Considered self-employed, independent contractors do not receive most of the rights and benefits that employees receive from employers or by virtue of federal and state employment laws, particularly the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition, independent contractors are responsible for paying all applicable federal, state and local taxes from the income you receive. However, civil rights law does apply to independent contractors in their relationship to employers. Independent contractors go by many names, including, freelancer, contractor, or consultant.

However, unlike an employee, the terms of the relationship between an independent contractor and the employer are subject to negotiation and may not always be presumed or mutually understood. For example, the terms of your work assignment, and who owns the finished (or in process) work product. For example, if you are a photographer working as an independent contractor, you retain the copyright to your photos even after delivering it to the employer, unless you have a written agreement explicitly stating the services are “work-made-for-hire,” specially commissioned, or otherwise assigned away. As an independent contractor, you will be paid according to the terms of your agreement, not according to the employer’s customary payroll. One of the biggest challenges for independent contractors is getting paid, but these risks can be addressed by properly considering  this issue prior to commencing work.

Focus | Vision | Perspective | Passion

Executives and creative professionals face an often confusing and dynamic set of challenges trying to ensure that their business remains legally compliant. Yet few can afford the highly-qualified and versatile legal staff needed to deal with today’s complex and inconstant legal and regulatory environment.

Adler Law Group is a boutique Entertainment, Intellectual Property & Media law firm created with a specific mission in mind: to provide businesses with a competitive advantage by enabling them to leverage their intangible assets and creative content in a way that drives innovation and increases the overall value of the business. Although we are a highly-specialized law firm, we counsel on a broad range of interconnected issues by leveraging synergies created where Intellectual Property Law, Contract Law and Corporate Law overlap.We approach our relationship with each client as a true partnership and we view our firm as an extension of their capabilities. Our primary value is our specialization on relevant and complex issues that maintain the leading edge for our clients. We invite you to learn more about the services we offer and how we differ.