As the mother of a teen referee and coordinator of referees for a youth soccer organization, I am writing to thank Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-12) for supporting a recent legislative proposal to clarify that referees, umpires, and other officials—frequently teenage athletes or retirees who work on a casual basis—should be properly classified as “independent contractors” and not “employees.” This clarifying legislation was needed because of a recent decision by Connecticut’s Department of Labor to claim that referees are employees and to demand that both our referees and our state’s many soccer clubs pay more state and federal unemployment and other taxes. Any soccer parent will tell you that they would never consider referees to be employees of either their team, the opposing team, or the municipality where the game is played.
Unfortunately, there have been false statements on Facebook and on websites that assert that Ted did not vote to support the clarifying legislation. In fact, according to the history for the bill, HB 5261, available at www.ct.gov, Ted voted to support the legislation. In fact, the bill passed the State Senate unanimously. Unfortunately, Governor Dannel Malloy vetoed the bill and the Senate did not override the governor’s veto.
I know that Ted will continue to work to make sure that this overreach by the Connecticut Department of Labor does not continue. I am writing to make sure that our shoreline soccer parents and their teenage referees know that Ted will keep fighting for them.