‘Entirely Appropriate’ to Examine Anew WWE’s Independent Contractor Practices

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Here is how I am quoted at the end of Brian Lockhart’s article in Wednesday’s Stamford Advocate on a state audit of World Wrestling Entertainment’s use of independent contractor classification for its wrestlers:

“With the financial success of the McMahon family reaching the point where it is now underwriting a `self-funded’ Senate campaign, while the public fallout of their corporation’s occupational health and safety standards continues to go unaddressed by government, it is entirely appropriate to be taking a fresh look at all this.”

Lockhart’s story notes that a February report of Connecticut’s Joint Enforcement Commission on Employment Misclassification, formed by Governor Jodi Rell and the state legislature in 2008, said that while “employee/worker misclassification may sound like a mere paperwork issue,” it is “a serious and significant problem” resulting in unfair treatment of workers, giving guilty companies an unfair competitive advantage through artificially lower costs of doing business, and making “law-abiding taxpayers bear more of the tax burden.”

The timing of the WWE audit, of course, is intriguing — both because WWE’s former CEO, Linda McMahon, is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and because a representative of her Democratic opponent, state attorney general Richard Blumenthal, serves on the misclassification commission along with others from the departments of labor and revenue services, the chief state’s attorney, and the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

See “WWE: State auditing company for misclassification of employees,” http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/default/article/WWE-State-auditing-company-for-misclassification-658473.php.

Irv Muchnick

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