CNRA Wins Exemption from AB5 for Soccer Officials


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

State Referee Administrator Said Ravanfar is pleased to announce that CNRA has successfully lobbied the California State Legislature to modify Assembly Bill 5, the 2019 law that potentially required soccer referees to be classified as employees instead of independent contractors. CNRA began its efforts nearly six months ago, and has worked closely with legislators to write an exemption to AB5 that allows amateur sports officials, including soccer referees, to be classified as independent contractors.

Prior to this amendment, AB5 required referees to be legally classified as employees, and clubs, leagues and/or assignors as employers. This would have required extensive hiring paperwork before a referee could work games for a new assignor, as well as tax withholding from game fees and payroll taxes for leagues and clubs.

This amendment will provide significant relief to soccer leagues and clubs throughout the state, as well as tens of thousands of sports officials throughout the state.

Section 2775 of the new law states:
“…the holding in Dynamex do not apply to the following occupations as defined in the paragraphs below, and instead, the determination of employee or independent contractor status for individuals in those occupations shall be governed by Borello:
(j) A competition judge with a specialized skill set or expertise providing services that require the exercise of discretion and independent judgment to an organization for the purposes of determining the outcome or enforcing the rules of a competition. This includes, but is not limited to, an amateur umpire or referee.

CNRA is grateful for the hard work of Steve Wallauch, Farhad Mansourian and the California State Legislators who assisted us in providing relief to thousands of our people who serve amateur and youth sports throughout the state.

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