The lawyer representing 30 ousted Disney IT workers has filed a motion to pull the federal lawsuit alleging the theme park giant misused the H-1B visa program and plans to refile it in state court.
Sarasota Attorney Sara Blackwell said Tuesday that she is seeking the best route to penalize Disney for firing 250 American workers and hiring 250 Indian nationals to take their jobs.
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts asked a federal judge to dismiss the suit in February, saying the suit failed to state claims of intentional discrimination and that employees were hired by commercial vendors, not Disney.
The Disney workers were forced to train their replacements before leaving and filed severance documents agreeing not to talk about their dismissals, according to Blackwell.
“This is not just at Disney but it’s happening all over the country,” Blackwell said. “We will not stop fighting. It’s the CEOs and executives who are doing wrong by paying foreigners less in wages. They’re all using the same business models.”
Companies have used H-1B visas to save money by hiring foreign employees who work for less pay and no benefits. The visas allow employers to temporarily hire foreign workers in specialty occupations.
Blackwell said IT employees are losing their jobs at Toys R Us, Carnival Cruise Line, Emblem Health, Saks Fifth Avenue and McDonald’s. She added that Equifax and Target, which also hired Indian workers at cheaper pay, had “huge breaches in security.”
The lawsuit claims Disney “acted with malice and reckless disregard” when the company laid off 250 employees in October 2014 after outsourcing some of its information technology functions to an Indian vendor.