At least 6 journalists who have contributed to health news site HispanoSano.com say they will sue parent company Sana Health Group Inc. to collect almost $16,000 owed to them for 19 articles that are still on the website.
In a press release posted on Romenesko, the freelancers say they’ve tried numerous times to get paid, but more than 7 months after their work was published, they’re still waiting.
HispanoSano.com went live in Jan. of 2010. Before its launch, the company contracted freelance journalists from across the U.S. and Latin America, to report on health topics in both Spanish and English.
The 6 freelancers threatening to sue for payment are editor Carlos Martínez and writers Lauren Villagrán, Anabelle Garay, Lolbe Corona, Amber Bauer and Raquel Ruiz.
I contacted JeanMarie Adams, the founder and co-owner of the site, who this morning assured me: “Regarding the freelancers, we are working hard to resolve the matter and expect a resolution to the delays very soon.” She suggested contacting the editor again to confirm the situation.
Carlos says that after my inquiry, he got a call this morning promising payment within the next 15 days “or at least be given a certain date as to when we will be paid. However, it is worth noting that we have been given the exact same assurances for the past 7 months….. we are not holding our breath.”
It’s not uncommon for freelance journalists to get stiffed. I have had my share of uncollected invoices in the past. But it’s really sad to hear that journalists who are trying to make a living, especially in this difficult economic climate, still fall prey to dishonest people looking to profit from their work without providing fair compensation.