Disney To Furlough U.S. Employees Starting April 19
The coronavirus pandemic has caused businesses from around the world to suffer and it appears the Walt Disney Company is no exception.
Disney has announced that all cast members whose jobs “aren’t necessary at this time” will be furloughed starting April 19, and impact all employees who are not necessary to maintain park operations during the closure.
The entire Disney parks, experiences and products segment has around 177,000 cast members. Disney didn’t say how many of the impacted employees would be affected nor how many were from Disney World or Disneyland, but they did say all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period and return to their same roles when the furlough is over.
Even though furloughed workers will stop receiving paychecks after April 18, they will remain Disney employees and will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney. Those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program.
According to Disney, employees with available paid time off can use some or all of it when the furlough begins. They will also be eligible to receive an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill alongside state unemployment.
Disney has been paying full-time and part-time employees since its parks closed on March 16.
Earlier this month, Disney announced that its top executives would be taking pay cuts. Executive chairman Bob Iger is forgoing his entire salary while new CEO Bob Chapek will take a 50 percent salary cut.
Disney previously warned investors that the coronavirus pandemic could impact its businesses including suspending cruise itineraries and delaying the release of its upcoming feature films.
The company also announced that it has made changes to annual passholder tickets because of COVID-19. For guests who purchased their annual pass in full, their passes will be extended for the number of days that the parks remain closed.
For those on a monthly plan, Disney will halt all future payments and refund any payments made between March 14 and April 4.
Disney said there is no clear indication of when they will restart their businesses at this time.