The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to provide $3.8 million in back wages to thousands of hotel- and timeshare-resort workers after the U.S. Labor Department investigated violations of minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping rules.
Disney will pay back wages to 16,339 employees. That averages out to about $233 per worker.
The labor department said employees were routinely not paid for 15 minutes of work before and after shifts. Disney also deducted a uniform expense that caused some workers’ hourly rates to fall below the federal minimum wage. And the resort failed to maintain required records of hours worked by certain employees.
The department would not say what prompted its investigation.
The agreement covers almost 700 employees who worked at the Old Key West Resort since November 2013. An additional 15,000 employees working at other Florida resorts since January 2015 also will receive compensation.
Disney said in a statement “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.”
The agreement calls for increased training of managers about what constitutes “compensable work time.” The training will cover activities such as signing out keys and logging onto computers.
Disney will provide the back pay by July 31.
A representative from Unite Here, the union representing Disney’s hotel workers, could not be reached for comment.
“These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well,” said Daniel White, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Jacksonville, in a news release.
He said “the Disney resorts were very cooperative throughout the investigative process.”
Source: Orlando Sentinel