Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Do you need a business license to umpire?

Apparently you need a business license if you umpire in San Diego! Here is an amazing story from San Diego about a municipal requirement for independent contractors to obtain business licenses in order to conduct business (i.e. officiate) within the city limits.

In many cities independent contractors are required to obtain a license. High school sports officials are considered independent contractors. That mostly results from an IRS determination in the 1960's, however many states including Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia have enacted statutes that classify sports officials as independent contractors — at least for the purposes of workers' compensation. In other words, if you are seriously injured while umpiring, your employer owes you nothing. The school does not pay your medical expenses, lost wages, etc.

Now San Diego has added this insult - a level of bureaucracy that is uncalled for, unnecessary, and quite frankly asinine. It is also easily correctible through local legislation, although this local ordinance should have never been enforced against sports officials in the first place. What's next, arresting the six-year-old for violating health code ordinances by selling lemonade on the corner? Apparently San Diegans (San Diego-ites? San Diego-ins? San Diego-uns? San Dieg-ons? San Diegans? Done in my best Ron Burgundy voice) have no common sense.

You stay classy, San Diego.

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