Connecticut Investigation of WWE Involves Unemployment Insurance Taxes

Coverage in Britain’s Shortlist Magazine
November 20, 2010
Report: Ex-Wrestler Dean Malenko Recently Had Heart Attack
November 22, 2010

Connecticut Department of Labor spokesman Paul Oates told me today that any audit of World Wrestling Entertainment would be coming out of the department’s Unemployment Insurance Division, not its Wage and Workplace Standards Division.

Oates emailed:

“[A]t this time, I am unable to confirm or deny that there is or was a WWE audit undertaken by the UI Tax Division within this Agency. Section 31-254 of the Connecticut General Statute provides the following: ‘The administrator may require from any employer, whether or not otherwise subject to this chapter, any sworn or unsworn reports with respect to persons employed by him which are necessary for the effective administration of this chapter. Information thus obtained shall not be published or be open to public inspection, other than to public employees in the performance of their public duties, in any manner revealing the employee’s or the employer’s identity…. [Emphasis added]'”

There are two dimensions of independent contractor misclassification. One is  the way it can deprive governments of tax revenues. The other is the way it can deprive workers of benefits. My interpretation of the statement issued by the Department of Labor is that its investigation of WWE originated, or is now oriented, on the tax payment issue.


Irv Muchnick


  1. Chris Marullo says:

    So what do you think will come of this if you had to guess Irv? If they are investigated, will it make Blumenthal look like a sore winner, even if his former office is no longer involved? Congress was ridiculed for going after baseball a few years ago so will an investigation of wrestling, even if it’s done by an authority like the IRS, stand up to public scrutiny?

  2. I do not know how the state investigation of WWE will turn out. Nor do I know if a Congressional investigation of WWE will be revived and, if so, how that will turn out. Finally, how Blumenthal is perceived is not my problem. He was elected, in part, based on the exposure of pro wrestling occupational health and safety issues, he has committed to following through in some fashion as a United States senator, and I will be holding his feet to the fire and encouraging others to do the same.

Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick