What AB-5 Means For WWE And Wrestling In General

California recently passed AB5 and is expected to be signed into law by the Governor. AB5 is a law that would create strict guidelines as to what an independent contractor is. This mainly effects the “gig economy” that is fronted by companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash. But, all wrestlers are considered independent contractors and not employees, even though most signed talent do not qualify for independent contractor status.

CBS News reports that AB5 will deal with

Unlike employees, contractors can’t apply for unemployment insurance when they lose a gig. They also aren’t required to be paid minimum wage or overtime and aren’t allowed to form a union, as employees are. And because companies don’t pay payroll taxes or benefits for contractors, employers that rely on contractors can shave as much as 20% of their costs, as noted by a 2016 UCLA paper.

Lawyer Eric D. Anderson recently sent out a series of tweets explaining how this effects professional wrestling.

The ABC test is

(A)  The worker is free from control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for performance of the work and in fact;

(B) The worker performs work that is outside the course of the hiring entity’s business; and

(C) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business.

As you can see Professional Wrestling talent that is signed to major companies would not qualify as independent contractors.

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