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Legislation continues to advance in California that would make further clarifications and amendments to the law passed in 2019 that requires those who hire independent contractors to provide them the same benefits as full-time employees.

Late last week, a Senate committee combined several bills into Assembly Bill 2257, including an important provision AKC worked on from Assembly Bill 1850 that provides a clear exemption for competition judges. The amended version of the bill will be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 17.

AKC encourages those who host or participate in shows in California to contact the Senate Appropriations Committee and express your support for the competition judges exemption in AB 2257.  We also encourage you to contact the author’s office and thank her for including this important provision.  Scroll down for contact information. 

When Assembly Bill 5 was passed in September 2019, some questions were raised by California clubs as to how it would impact show and event judges.  AKC reached out to legislative policy staff and others to receive clarification.

Assembly Bill 2257 includes the following exemption language previously included in AB 1850: “competition judges who have a specialized skillset or expertise and provide services requiring the exercise of discretion and independent judgment to an organization in order to determine competition outcomes.”  This exemption provides the clarity needed for California clubs that host numerous dog shows and performance events that require the services and expertise of independent, qualified judges.

While it was not clear whether the underlying law would apply to AKC judges, the amendment offered in AB 1850 and AB 2257 will ensure there will not be any confusion on this issue.

For more background on AB 5 and the current law, view AKC’s previous alert

What You Can Do: 

Those who reside or participate in dog shows and performance events in California are encouraged to do the following:

AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor this and all California legislation and provide updates as they are available.  For more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or