Disney to give back wages to employees charged for their costumes
By April Kirstin Chua
Disney won't be charging their actors who dress up in costumes, at least, if it doesn't push through their hourly pay below the minimum wage. This is in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act set forth by the Department of Labor.
The US Department of Labor and two subsidiaries of The Walt Disney Co. have reached an agreement to give back $3.8 million in back wages according to a press release statement issued last Friday.
As per the agreement, back wages will be paid to 16,339 employees of the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US Inc. both situated in Florida.
The government says Disney violated wage laws by deducting a "uniform or costume" expense from the paychecks of some employees. This caused effective wages to fall below the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour. The labor department furthers that Disney failed to properly compensate their employees for the time they spent performing "pre-shift" duties. Also, the resorts failed to adequately record time and payroll records.
"These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well," Daniel White, district director for Disney department's Wage and Hour Division in Jacksonville, Florida, said in a statement.
White said employers cannot make deductions that take workers salaries below the minimum wage, and must accurately track and pay for all the hours their employees work, including any time they work before or after their scheduled shifts.
He said he hopes the resolution of the Disney case will alert other employers, as well, so that they can correct their practices and operate within the bounds of the law. In addition, Disney assures that they have been cooperative through the investigative process and have worked well with the division to ensure that the employees receive they're hard-earned money. Meanwhile, Disney could not be immediately reached for comment as per CNNMoney.