• Advocacy, Community

This freelancer waited months to get paid – then she realized she wasn't the only one

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This post is part of a series of freelancer stories about waiting to get paid -- or never getting paid at all.

Presently 71% of freelancers have trouble getting paid by their clients and, on average, each unpaid freelancers is owed about $6,000 in income.

Read on for first-person accounts from Freelancer Union members facing this issue -- and their thoughts on how to solve it. Share your story here.

Sunday Steinkirchner
Freelancing for: 7 years
Amount owed: $1500

I'm a bookseller and I did an appraisal that I didn't get paid for.

I worked on-site at the client’s house for a few days, then finished the job at home.

When I released the appraisal document to the client, I waited for payment. And waited. And waited.

And then it occurred to me that I might never get paid for the work I did.

After months of hounding him, my client eventually paid me, but in the meantime, I discovered that non-payment was not an issue unique to me.

There are so many frustrated freelancers out there who have been stiffed by clients, and they are turning to the internet to find out how to resolve this issue because there are no clear answers elsewhere.

I wrote an article on relating my story, and cobbled together resources to help other freelancers navigate this rough landscape.

Since then,** I have been contacted by dozens of independent workers who are dealing with issues of non-payment **or late payment from clients, hardworking people who are owed anywhere from $50 to $15,000.

This problem isn't going away.

Freelancers are now 1/3 of the workforce, and 77% of us have had problems getting paid on time.

We have no protections under the law, and traditional actions like hiring a lawyer or going to small claims court are overwhelming and intimidating, expensive and time consuming.

But our voices are getting louder and our movement is getting stronger.

Join Freelancers Union in our #FreelanceIsntFree campaign. Speak out about your non-payment story, and work with us to shape legislation that will protect us in the future.

Together, we can make lawmakers listen our struggles and work with them to make real change happen.

Nonpayment is not an isolated incident. Though the circumstances may be unique, the problem is common.

Are you ready to be part of the solution? Share your nonpayment story here.

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