Disney has a reputation for being the creator of the most magical movies and places that children and adults love. However, 16,339 of its employees don’t think the Walt Disney Co.
is so magical. The company as agreed to provide $3.8 million in back wages to those thousands of employees due to an investigation done by the U.S. Labor Department.
The Labor Department found that Disney had been making dozens of violations against minimum wage, overtime, and record-keeping laws. The Labor Department’s investigation found that Disney wasn’t paying its employees for the fifteen minutes of work before and after shifts. That was coupled with the fact that uniform costs were deducted which in turn brought down the hourly rates of the employees. The hourly rates that fell were below that of the federal minimum wage.
When it came to record keeping, Disney did not maintain the records required for the number of hours that many employees had worked.
While the Labor Department won’t disclose what caused them to make this investigation, it’s said that the payment agreement covers 700 employees that worked at Old Key West Resort since November 2103. Fifteen thousand other Disney employees working throughout Florida at other resorts since January 2015 will receive their share of compensation as well.
Aside from giving its employees the money they deserve, Disney is prompted by the agreement to better train their managing staff. Managers will be taught about what constitutes as “compensable work time.” The expected training also covers other aspects that the company lacks such as signing out keys and logging onto computers.
United Here is the union that represents Disney’s hotel workers and, according to a source, has not provided any comments on the situations. However, Daniel White who works as district director for Jacksonville’s Wage and Hour Division stated that “These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well.”
Disney did make a statement following the investigation. A spokesperson for the company said, “The Department of Labor has identified a group of cast members who may have performed work outside of their scheduled shift, and we will be providing a one-time payment to resolve this. We are adjusting our procedures to avoid this in the future.”
Disney workers can expect to see their compensation distributed by July 31.