NFLRA announce protections for 2020 season, opt-out program

The NFL Referee Association announced Sunday they have come to an agreement with the NFL on health and safety protections and an opt-out program for the upcoming 2020 season.

The NFLRA Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the plan and full membership will meet Monday via video conference call to review the details.

"There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our members," NFLRA Executive Director Scott Green said. "Although there will undoubtedly be some risk for our officials, we are pleased to have finalized a plan with the League that provides additional benefits and protections during this unprecedented season."

Officials have until Thursday to notify their decision to opt out of the 2020 season.

As outlined in the NFLRA press release, the agreement includes, but is not limited to, the following provisions:

  • Any game or replay official who has concerns related to COVID-19 may voluntarily elect to take a leave of absence from officiating responsibilities for the 2020 season.
  • Any game official who takes a leave of absence will receive a payment of $30,000.
  • Any official who chooses to take a leave of absence is guaranteed job protection and may return for the 2021 season.
  • If a game official tests positive during the season, the test and illness will be treated as an injury sustained while performing a league-sanctioned or required activity. The official will be entitled to injury pay, medical expenses and other applicable benefits.
  • If an official tests positive or shows signs of illness at a game site, medical expenses, lodging, and travel expenses will be covered by the NFL.
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