There is a bill that is being sent to the California Senate called AB-5. This bill has already passed through the California House and is halfway to becoming law. The reason that it is being talked about on a wrestling news site, is because it deals with independent contractors.
John Oliver recently did a Last Week Tonight segment on how WWE should be giving their wrestlers the same treatment that they give their employees. Wrestlers that wrestle for any company are labeled independent contractors. The reason being is that it saves WWE and other companies tons of money in health insurance and retirement programs mainly.
WWE wrestlers in almost every sense of the word are employees. They are told where to be and at what time, they are told how to do their jobs, their jobs are directly related to WWE’s product and they cannot work for other companies or do outside projects without WWE’s approval.
If AB-5 passes. That is about to change in the state of California.
So WWE would need all their wrestlers to be employees if they wrestle in California. Not only WWE but AEW and any exclusively signed talent to a wrestling company. This might end up not mattering if WWE decides not to run shows in California anymore, or if the bill doesn’t pass.
As it stands right now, WWE can still run shows in California while their independent contractors can go without company sponsored healthcare.
Stay with Bodyslam for further updates as we try and better understand the ramifications this bill would have on the wrestling industry.
For further information on the matter, What Culture has a video explaining this in more detail.
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