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WWE got served...by Raven


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[QUOTE]Should WWE wrestlers be independent contractors or employees? The following statement, buried in WWE's quarterly stock filing, could have major future ramifications: "Levy et al. On July 24, 2008, we were served with a summons from three of our former talent purporting to be on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly situated persons. The lawsuit alleges breach of contract and unjust enrichment arising from our treating them as independent contractors rather than employees, which the plaintiffs allege is an erroneous classification. We have not formally responded to the suit but intend to deny any liability for claims asserted against us and to defend vigorously against the suit." The Levy in question is, in fact, Scott Levy, AKA Raven. The contractual status of WWE wrestlers has been a topic of conversation seemingly forever, and it's actually amazing that it's taken this long for anyone to contest it. Depending upon who you talk to, WWE is anything from grievously at fault to a company that does just enough to get away with it. We'll have more in the next few days, but if WWE is ruled against this could have major, major financial ramifications on them.[/QUOTE] Credit: WrestlingObserver.com This has the potential to change the landscape of how pro wrestlers are contracted and how are they "classified", if they gain the status of employees, which is pretty much what they are towards the WWE, they can be entitled to health plans, and a union. I wonder how Vince will manage to get out of this one... since, in my view, this is a case a first year lawyer could win, and it'll be hard for someone to not consider the WWE wrestlers employees, rather than independent contractors.
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I'm kinda glad it's Raven leading the way on this. When I heard him talk about how disappointed he was with how things were run there I felt so bad for him. He said it was like achieving a childhood dream only to discover that it wasn't worth all the effort. By all accounts a fair few guys, including Raven (and Test's injury sticks in my head), weren't treated too well. So, it'll be interesting to see where this goes. Quote The Raven Nevermore
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Besides, Raven is perhaps the most intelligent man in the wrestling business, correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't he have like a degree in law or something close to that? Nonetheless I'm sure he's made his homework and that will make things complicated for Vince and his "modern slavery" when it comes to health plans. Hell, Ronaldo ain't got nothing on Raven >_>
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I like this... if the WWE works it's wrestlers to near death (and sometimes death becomes a factor) then they need some damn insurance to cover there asses, benifits, paid vacations, and best of all, a union. That last one was something people on the net were crazy about trying to get for the E not too many years back. I'm glad someone finally has the stones to do something about. Vinny Mac has enough cash so that it won't kill him entirely either... However, I am entirely certain that none of that cash will find it's way to Levy's paychecks anytime soon.... or ever.
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To be honest this is something that is brought up alot i have found. It sucks when you get paid o say fifty bucks for a match and then have to go to the hospital and the bill is o say almost a thousend *lets say that has happend to me a few time :(*. But i really don't see it ever happing for a few reasons. 1)Union due's. If indy worker a is making one hundre for a match but has to pay o say 50 for his due's he is not going to wrestle any more. Then again if lets say hhh has to pay the same fifty bucks that is not going to hurt him. How do you judge who pays what. I 2) t is odvious a "union" is going to work more for mr. main event then mr. indy worker. 3) Is it something you would have to join? Lets take the screen actors guild. It costs fifty thousend dollars to join that *a friend of mine is a independent actor/director and that is what it would cost him*. How is a small time guy going to pay that. If you don't join does that mean you are not going to get booked any where? Are you going to be black balled? On paper it is a good idea. Benefits, time off, vacation......that kind of stuff. But in reality i don't see anyone out side of wwe doing it.
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[QUOTE=alden;476984]To be honest this is something that is brought up alot i have found. It sucks when you get paid o say fifty bucks for a match and then have to go to the hospital and the bill is o say almost a thousend *lets say that has happend to me a few time :(*. But i really don't see it ever happing for a few reasons. 1)Union due's. If indy worker a is making one hundre for a match but has to pay o say 50 for his due's he is not going to wrestle any more. Then again if lets say hhh has to pay the same fifty bucks that is not going to hurt him. How do you judge who pays what. I 2) t is odvious a "union" is going to work more for mr. main event then mr. indy worker. 3) Is it something you would have to join? Lets take the screen actors guild. It costs fifty thousend dollars to join that *a friend of mine is a independent actor/director and that is what it would cost him*. How is a small time guy going to pay that. If you don't join does that mean you are not going to get booked any where? Are you going to be black balled? On paper it is a good idea. Benefits, time off, vacation......that kind of stuff. But in reality i don't see anyone out side of wwe doing it.[/QUOTE] You seem to have missed the point. Indy guys wouldn't have a union; they [I]are[/I] independent contractors. WWE, however, has reached a point contrary to the previous norms of the industry where they have what would be commonly perceived as full-time employees. So... [LIST=1] [*]Everyone would pay the same (if payment was necessary) much like a standard union (at least, in the UK) [*]Not at all. The point of a union is to work as an independent adjudicator. However, I do agree that it would be difficult to determine what aspects of the business a union could actually affect. [*]Potentially. However, it can be the case that court orders force a company to set up, pay for and grant all their employees entry into an independent claims system. [/LIST] I'm not sure it would be the easiest thing to implement either but it would be a measure solely for full-time employers and employees (i.e. just the WWE). Quote The Raven Nevermore
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[QUOTE=Moe Hunter;476987]Wasn't it just last month that WWE announced that they'd help all former employees with rehab, cat scans and all that sort of stuff? Maybe I'm off on that one...[/QUOTE] Longer ago than that, I think, but yeah they did. Waltman and Hall are both on the programme if memory serves. However, this could have been means to cover themselves from other claims. We obviously don't know the full details of the suit :confused:. Quote The Raven Nevermore
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Guest Ransik
Raven is probably one of the most intelligent wrestlers.... EVER. I think I read once his IQ was around 180.... certified genius. If anyone can stop wrestlers from being run to death, it's him. And I applaud him for it, he wasn't treated well by the WWE and it's very well documented by several wrestlers who don't even consider him a friend.
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I think it will hurt paychecks more then anything. The contractee's then become employee's. They get sick leave, insurance plans, worker compensation, and all in all... It's going to hurt their pockets moreso then WWE. As an Employer, you just about pay everyone double what you pay them, when your the one responsible for tax's, worker's compensation, etc.. The Employee insurance is something that they can have that is taken out of the employee's check, rather then from WWE, as that's how even the government does it. Insurance itself won't be a "Must". However, they will have to compensate for worker's compensation. This could actually hurt their paychecks by as much as 50%, and I doubt that WWE will just take that out of their own pockets. They will just pay LESS, is what I believe would happen. The way things are now, WWE seems to pay for most their ailments, so I wouldn't really be pushing the envelope on this one, if I were and employee of WWE at this point.
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[QUOTE=Ransik;476995]I think I read once his IQ was around 180.... certified genius.[/QUOTE] Sorry to stray off topic but it has to be said. IQ bares little relation to overall intelligence. Indeed, it's kind of pointless to claim that one has an IQ of x because it's not quite true; one will only have an IQ of x determined by one specific test usually designed to focus on only one facet of brain activity. The reason I say this is because although Raven is clearly a very intelligent man (you only have to watch his interviews), I think that will play little to no part in this. From what I understand, such employment legislation is pretty rigid and he'll have a legal team working on defining a requirement that WWE has failed to meet. It'll be as simple as that, in my humble opinion. His name-value might add some clout/legitimacy to the claim but whether it fails or succeeds is gonna be pretty open and shut I reckon. [QUOTE=djthefunkchris;476997]This could actually hurt their paychecks by as much as 50%, and I doubt that WWE will just take that out of their own pockets. They will just pay LESS, is what I believe would happen.[/QUOTE] A great point, particularly in view of the fact that there is little in the way of market competition in terms of paychecks in the industry. Vince is pretty much the be-all and end-all. Quote The Raven Nevermore
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I'm actually a bit surprised this hasn't come up sooner as well. Although, as was said, it can be an easily enough won case, as the WWE has admitted as such. Case in point ... [QUOTE]Source - Wrestling Observer Newsletter Karlene Boutwell of Nashville, Tennessee will be getting a jury trial in a $100,000 lawsuit filed against Sandman (James Fullington) and WWE. The case is scheduled to be heard on November 4th. Boutwell alleges that she injured her back, aggravated a pre-existing condition, and was exposed to Sandman's blood while he was making his entrance during the August 8, 2006 edition of ECW on Sci-Fi. WWE attempted to get the case thrown out after they released footage that didn't show anything out of the ordinary. WWE is has also argued that they shouldn't even be listed in the lawsuit since Sandman is not an employee, but an independent contractor. [/QUOTE] I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't part of Raven's thinking, as he and Sandman are known friends. I just don't think, with such a thought on the records, in a known court case, that the 'E has any other option but to consider what's been proposed for years.
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[QUOTE=alden;476984]To be honest this is something that is brought up alot i have found. It sucks when you get paid o say fifty bucks for a match and then have to go to the hospital and the bill is o say almost a thousend *lets say that has happend to me a few time :(*. But i really don't see it ever happing for a few reasons. [/QUOTE] For health care, I'm surprised more indy wrestlers don't move to Oregon. We have State funded health insurance up here that's pretty affordable if your income is below a certain amount (just tell them you fell off your roof adjusting the antenna ;)). Oh, and regarding Raven's intelligence, he's a member of [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensa_International"]Mensa[/URL], and they only accept the brightest of the bright. With Unions, at least the union I joined when I was working at Pillsbury, I was given the option to have the initial payment deducted out of my paycheck at a set amount over a period of time (with the option to pay off the balance later if I wished), so paying off the joining fee in this situation doesn't have to be a straitjacket. And it's a one time fee. Given the nature of the business, in fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that was the method they employed. Union fees tend to be yearly as well, so if the fee was something like $50, it wouldn't even be a drop in the bucket unless you were really living hand to mouth. Unionization would benefit the guys like Shelton Benjamin more than a guy like The Undertaker, but could insure that costs they would otherwise pay out of pocket for, like travel and room, are covered by the company. It would also give them access to a knowledgeable representative when contract disputes arise.
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[QUOTE=alden;476984]2) t is odvious a "union" is going to work more for mr. main event then mr. indy worker. [/quote] Not even a little bit true. It's not mathematically possible for a union to have more high-level guys than low-level guys and still be a major force for collective bargaining. Remember last year's WGA strike? While you did have guys like Joss Whedon out there on the picket line, he wasn't the one benefiting the most from the eventual settlement. The people who benefited most are the guys you've never heard of, the rank-and-file who live paycheck to paycheck and project to project. [quote]3) Is it something you would have to join? Lets take the screen actors guild. It costs fifty thousend dollars to join that *a friend of mine is a independent actor/director and that is what it would cost him*. How is a small time guy going to pay that. If you don't join does that mean you are not going to get booked any where? Are you going to be black balled?[/quote] A simple way to handle this would be for there to be union and non-union promotions, in much the same way Hollywood has union and non-union productions. If you run a union promotion, great. If you don't, great. But if you're non-union then you don't get access to any of the guys who are members of the union. It'd be a nice way to allow smaller indy promotions to run without their no- to low-pay wrestlers not needing to pay union dues while still allowing anyone at or above, say, an ROH level to have the necessary protection for what would be a bigger schedule.
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[QUOTE=Vladamire Dracos;477122]Oh, and regarding Raven's intelligence, he's a member of [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensa_International"]Mensa[/URL], and they only accept the brightest of the bright.[/QUOTE] Just in case you're picking up on what I think you're picking up on, I never meant that Raven isn't intelligent! However, even being a member of Mensa is not really a fair test. As I say, IQ does is only one of many contributing factors of intelligence. According to a recent test I took (I canae remember which one) I would have qualified for Mensa (I got the best result out of the people at my school - who were a select few taken from a select school). I, however, am comfortable in thinking that I am not actually a genius. Intelligent but not a genius. Moreover, should I sit a different test compiled by a different body, I'm sure the result would be different. Quote The Raven Nevermore
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[QUOTE=Nevermore;477315]Just in case you're picking up on what I think you're picking up on, I never meant that Raven isn't intelligent! However, even being a member of Mensa is not really a fair test. As I say, IQ does is only one of many contributing factors of intelligence. According to a recent test I took (I canae remember which one) I would have qualified for Mensa (I got the best result out of the people at my school - who were a select few taken from a select school). I, however, am comfortable in thinking [B]that I am not actually a genius.[/B] Intelligent but not a genius. Moreover, should I sit a different test compiled by a different body, I'm sure the result would be different. Quote The Raven Nevermore[/QUOTE] ECW Worldwide says differently.
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