Tell McGraw-Hill to Stop Charging Freelancers for Processing Invoices

Simon Allen, CEO and David Stafford, General Counsel

We are sharing with you a letter to McGraw-Hill's CEO Simon Allen and General Counsel David Stafford to demand that the company immediately end its practice of charging freelance contractors a 2.2% fee for processing their invoices. McGraw-Hill claims that this so-called "Small Supplier Fee" is being applied to support the company's compliance costs, including to minimize the company's risks of misclassifying independent contractors. Imposing a 2.2% fee for processing invoices—a normal cost of doing business—is tantamount to wage theft. What’s more, McGraw-Hill unilaterally imposed this fee during a pandemic, when freelance creators are losing work opportunities and unable to access the full scope of unemployment benefits due to their independent contractor status. McGraw-Hill's attempt to pass its operating costs off to hard-working, struggling freelance creators is shocking and unfair. Please add your name to our petition to demand that McGraw-Hill end this outrageous practice immediately.

Petition by
The Authors Guild
New York, New York
Sponsored by

To: Simon Allen, CEO and David Stafford, General Counsel
From: [Your Name]

Dear Mr. Allen and Mr. Stafford:

We, the representatives of tens of thousands of authors, writers, editors, illustrators, graphic artists, photographers, and other freelance creators, are writing to register our strong objection to McGraw-Hill’s policy of charging its freelance contractors a 2.2% fee to process and pay their earned wages, and demand that you immediately cease this inequitable practice that amounts to a wage cut at an unprecedented time.

According to McGraw-Hill’s email, it has instituted what it’s calling a “2.2% Small Supplier Fee” to support “labor market compliance, administrative tasks,” and to “cover the cost of third-party vendors that help us ensure that each contractor meets the requirements needed to be classified as an Independent Contractor under various state laws and IRS regulations.”

It’s shocking to us that McGraw-Hill is defraying its operating and legal compliance costs by passing them on to its freelance contractors. And worse, they are doing so at a time when freelancers are suffering income losses resulting from the pandemic and are often unable to access the full scope of unemployment benefits due to their independent contractor status.

What’s more, McGraw-Hill’s company records show that it is pursuing a deliberate strategy to cut payments to independent contractors even as it continues to generate hundreds of million dollars in revenue through its growing digital business, which has benefited from the shift to online learning as a result of the pandemic. McGraw-Hill’s “Small Supplier Fee” is meant to finance the company’s growth by cutting into the incomes of hard-working, struggling freelance creators, and is wholly unfair.

We call on McGraw-Hill to immediately end this practice and reimburse all freelancers who have already been charged this outrageous fee.


Mary Rasenberger
CEO, The Authors Guild

Thomas Maddrey
General Counsel, American Society of Media Photographers

Juliette Wolf-Robin
National Executive Director, American Photographic Artists

Lara Kislelewska
National President, Graphic Artists Guild

Edward Hasbruck
Chair, Books Division, National Writers Union

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
President, GardenComm

Tinsley Davis,
Executive Director, National Association of Science Writers

Michael Capobianco
Jim Fiscus
Co-chairs, SFWA Legal Affairs Committee

Rafael Espinal
Executive Director, Freelancers Union

Katie Schoolov
President, National Press Photographers Association

Jenny Nagle
Chief Executive, New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Inc.

Larry Bleiberg
President, Society of American Travel Writers

Nicola Solomon
Chief Executive, Society of Authors

Pat Wray
President, Outdoor Writers Association of America

Sandra Wong
National President, Sisters in Crime