Disney Furloughing Non-Essential Employees

The Walt Disney Company has announced they will have to furlough non-essential employees. This will take effect on April 19th. The company has been paying employees since March 14th, which is when both Disneyland and Disney World originally shut down. Since then, employees have received full pay and benefits while executives like Bob Iger and Bob Chapek took large pay cuts. Iger has forgone his entire salary while Chapek gave up 50%. Other executives are giving up part of their salaries too.

The entertainment industry has come to a screeching halt due to the world’s current situation. People have been asked to stay indoors and only go out for essential items like groceries and medicine. With that being said, there’s no clear time when non-essential businesses will be able to open their doors, including Disneyland and Disney World. The Walt Disney Company released a statement on the matter. You can read a portion below.

“Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation. However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time.”

For now, it is unclear when Disney will be able to go back to business as usual. They are losing out on million of dollars as both theme parks stay remain closed. With that being said, they are taking reservations for June 1st, which has led many to believe they will try to open their doors at that time. In the meantime, they have some decent news for current employees who will be effected by the furlough. The rest of the statement concludes below.

“The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney, and those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program. Additionally, employees with available paid time off can elect to use some or all of it at the start of the furlough period and, once furloughed, they are eligible to receive an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance.”

This certainly isn’t the news that Disney employees wanted to hear, but it seems the company has done all that it could do, including the $6 billion they raised through a debt offering on March 20th to help offset the current financial impact. If all goes well, they might be able to get everything running again by this summer, which is still pretty far away at this point, especially since everyone is staying indoors.

Disney has stepped up in order to help with the world’s current situation. Just yesterday the company announced that they were donating 100,000 N95 masks since their parks have been closed indefinitely. Additionally, they donated 150,000 rain ponchos. While things are uncertain for the time being, it appears that Disney has a plan to get employees back on their feet when the time comes.

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Author: Lawrence Lease

Lawrence Lease is a freelance writer and screenwriter. His work can be seen on Blasting News, Cinema Gold and The Washington Ledger.

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