Freelancers across the world are waiting for news to emerge from the annual Freelance Manifesto, a list of basic rights of independent contractors. However, tech site CNET just received a demand letter that leaves the publication “in a pickle.”
A full 90 days after New York City received the first request for notice, instead of sending notice with a demand for payment, CNET received the letter demanding that the site’s website be taken down. The New York City Council letter details that it was originally written to Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Oath about a year ago in response to a query.
Our complaint asserts that many non-employees may have a decent chance to fight their case for worker rights in court, but the initial request for notices was based on an outdated belief that freelancers are, by definition, not employees.
It shouldn’t be called a “sue letter” at all. The full text of the letter, which was sent to the Huffington Post in November of last year, details the legal trouble that freelance writers face:
Freelance has been denied legal recognition by many states. It’s a way for not-for-profit organizations to aggressively cut revenue out of the freelance writers’ pockets.
The letter cites whether LinkedIn, Google, and Pinterest accepted the first “notice of dispute” that was sent to the major search engines. As of 2017, Facebook allowed it, but last year, it turned it down.
It goes on to detail the City Council website’s request, which accuses the publication of failing to disclose who was participating in the lawsuit, of failing to explain the language of the “notice,” and of failing to refer back to the letter stating that “retired people are considered independent contractors”.
In a statement sent to The Huffington Post, James B. Capalino, the lawyer representing Freelance, stated: