Furloughs across the Walt Disney Company will affect cast members at Walt Disney World beginning April 19.
The temporary layoffs will apply to executive, salaried, and non-union hourly employees at Disney World as well as Disneyland, except for “those whose roles or projects are crucial to maintaining our operations during this closure period,” Disney said in a letter to cast members Thursday.
The arrangement does not apply to unionized employees at Disney World at this time, according to Theme Park Insider.
Furloughed employees will maintain their health benefits after April 19, with Disney covering both the employer and employee contributions. Unemployment benefits, expanded under the federal government’s $2 trillion stimulus package, will be available to furloughed workers.
All of those executives will remain eligible for the stock and cash bonuses, however, that make up the majority of their compensation. Iger, for example, was awarded more than $47 million in bonuses, stock awards and other incentives in 2019.
According to MarketWatch, Disney reported $10.44 billion in net income in its last fiscal year.
Here’s the full statement from the Walt Disney Company:
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our world with untold suffering and loss, and has required all of us to make sacrifices. Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses. 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. 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.
Disney World is officially closed “until further notice,” but the resort is accepting dining and hotel reservations for June 1 and beyond.
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