Former Women of Honor champion Kelly Klein has launched a lawsuit against her former employers, Ring of Honor and Sinclair Broadcasting.
The 28-page Employment Discrimination lawsuit obtained and posted by Heel by Nature alleges the promotion of Breach of Implied Contract, Unpaid Royalties, Violation of State and Federal Equal Pay Acts, and Abusive Discharge, Discrimination and Harassment, and Unsafe Work Environment
Klein wrestled for Ring of Honor from 2015 to 2019. She was three-time Women of Honor champion during her run in the company.
Klein was released from ROH in 2019 for alleged breach of contract when she posted messages and emails between her and ROH General Manager Greg Gilleland.
Klein alleges that ROH operated negligently. The “illegal actions” resulted in injuries suffered by her and other talents. These injuries were left untreated because medical staff were not available on-site. Klein states several separate incidents, which she was injured and didn’t receive medical attention from the company. Klein had to seek medical care on her own time and at her own expense. She claims that ROH did not reimburse her or reach out to check on her condition.
Klein also claims discrimination stating that all female talent was on much lower wages than their male counterparts. In 2018 Klein aked Gilleland for a raise to take her wages to $24,000 per annum, but he refused, claiming that he would have to pay all women on the roster the same amount.
Since the new broke, Klein’s lawyer, Stephen P. New, stated to Wrestlezone.com, highlighting that the lawsuit also claims that Klein is misclassified as an independent contractor. He said;
“The one thing the [wrestling news sites] are all missing is the misclassification allegations in the lawsuit as well. We are asking the court to strike down the independent contractor agreement in its entirety. This could be revolutionary for the entire industry if the federal judge rules in our favor. I’m excited to see how this will go.”
The subject of wrestlers being “independent contractors” is at the forefront of wrestling as of late, and this case could have a significant impact on the wrestling business in the future.
What do you make of Kelly Klein filing a lawsuit against ROH? Let us know in the comments below.