Friday, June 3, 2011

Connecticut Media Profiles in Caution on the WWE Independent Contractor Story

[posted 5/26/11 to htt]

A prominent Connecticut journalist, in his wisdom, took the time to email me for the sole purpose of sniffing that my previous item on this blog was a “non-story.” For proof, he offered the analysis of James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch (

$7,316 is a tiny drop in the bucket for WWE, so this won’t affect them. The state’s TV production tax credits to WWE over the past few years is about 1,000% larger than this fine.

The next step should be an investigation of WWE’s independent contractor classification, but that probably won’t happen after the Department of Labor went through a two-year audit that likely cost a whole lot more than the fine WWE will be paying. It would be difficult to justify a follow-up investigation despite evidence WWE does not meet the guidelines to classify wrestlers as independent contractors.

You can file this one — both the Caldwell observation and my esteemed correspondent’s exploitation of it — under “speaking platitudes to power.” If Linda McMahon takes another stab at a U.S. Senate seat next year, as expected, Governor Dan Malloy, Labor Commissioner Glenn Marshall, and others might get a little better focus on the independent contractor issue. But they won’t get much help from the public-spirited commentators of the Nutmeg State, who will be busy replaying the YouTube of Linda kicking wrestling announcer Jim Ross in the testicles.

Irv Muchnick

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