There are two bills going through the New York senate and assembly right now that would add protections for freelancers who are currently unable to force deadbeat clients to pay their bills.
If the bills become law, they would require clients to pay on time or the Department of Labor would get involved.
The bills also say that deadbeat clients can be fined up to $20,000 for a first violation or imprisoned for up to a year, and that a second violation within six years would make the client guilty of a felony(!).
The Freelancers Union is launching a campaign to drum up support for the bills; if you live in New York state and want to write your legislator, you can do so here.