Are officials employees or independent contractors? It’s a question that has been debated for as long as there have been officials and is still far from a universal resolution. When a California official lost his regular job and applied for unemployment compensation, the state determined that the Metropolitan Officials Association (MOA) in Santa Clara was also his employer. That left the association on the hook for more than $50,000 in back unemployment and workers compensation taxes.
Stockbroker Bob Summers, attorney Don Collins and athletic director Jim Jorgensen teamed up to bring the matter to the attention of California legislators. They also worked with the state’s Employment Development Department and orchestrated a letter-writing campaign that convinced lawmakers to pass a bill clarifying officials’ status as independent contractors