There is a bill that is being sent to the California Senate called AB-5. The bill is close to officially becoming law, as it has already passed in the California House of Representatives. The bill deals with workers classified as “independent” contractors in the state of California — all WWE superstars are independent contractors.
WWE has been criticized over the years for not retaining WWE Superstars as employees. John Oliver recently called out the WWE on Last Week Tonight over this subject. The belief is that WWE is being cheap. By not retaining Superstars as employees, WWE is able to save significant sums of money from health insurance and retirement programs.
WWE Superstars travel throughout the year and work a strenuous schedule, and their duties seem to go far beyond the duties of a typical employee. If AB-5 passes, WWE would only be able to perform in California if their wrestlers are official employees of the company.
WWE would be forced to make a decision. Should they convert all of their wrestlers from contractor status to employee status in order to perform in California? It seems highly unlikely that WWE would convert to a model where they retain Superstars as employees.
For now, it will continue to be business as usual for WWE. At the rate the bill is moving, that is likely to change shortly. WrestleLab.com will keep you posted with any updates as they come.