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Disney Agrees to Pay Back Wages to Florida Employees in Department of Labor Settlement

Variety logo Variety 3/17/2017 Ted Johnson
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Two divisions of The Walt Disney Co. will pay $3.8 million in back wages to nearly 16,400 Florida resort employees under an agreement with the Department of Labor.

The DOL’s wage and hour division found violations of minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to an announcement from the federal department.

The DOL said that resorts in Florida “deducted a uniform or ‘costume’ expense that caused some employees’ hourly rates to fall below the federal minimum wage.” The DOL also found that the resorts also did not pay employees performing duties during a “pre-shift period” and during a “post-shift period,” and that they failed to maintain time and payroll records.

“These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well,” said Daniel White, the district director for the Labor Department’s wage and hour division in Jacksonville, Fla. “Employers cannot make deductions that take workers 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. We hope the resolution of this case alerts other employers who may be paying employees in a similar manner, so that they too can correct their practices and operate in compliance with the law.”

He said that the Disney resorts were cooperative throughout the investigation.

The employees worked for two Disney divisions — Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S.

A spokeswoman for Walt Disney World Resort 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.”

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