With the claims that they were not paid properly, more than 25, 000 present and former Disneyland employees have pushed into a class-action suit against the Walt Disney Company. Filed in 2019, the Orange county superior court gave the suit class-action status in July.
As alleged by its workers, Disney was provided tax breaks from Anaheim. Its Cast Members are allegedly qualified to higher pay as a city ordinance dictates to any businesses given the city subsidies.
Those businesses are mandated to provide their employees $15 per hour when it is passed into law, as stipulated under Measure L that was voted into law in 2018. This will increase to $18 next year in addition to subsequent cost-of-living increases.
Per CNN Money, Disneyland in 2018 has entered into a deal to increase the pay of its 10, 000 union employees to $15.45 by 2020. It was unclear whether the agreement was fulfilled during the pandemic. Presently, the minimum wage in California is $14.
The city of Anaheim and Disneyland both disagree that the company is accountable for the increase of living wage.
The issue centers on whether Disney is receiving city subsidy due to the complex process Anaheim is repaying municipal bonds it got to compensate for the Mickey and Friends garage construction, which, in its opening in 2000, was the biggest structure in the country.
It was through the Taxes Disney pays and the hotel room taxes that mainly repaid these bonds.
According to Atty. Randy Renick, who filed the class-action suit, the repayment comprises a city subsidy since Disneyland maintains the revenue from the garage although it was financially supported by the city, SFGate reported.
“I think the issues here are simple: The voters demanded that companies like Disney, who take public handouts, pay their workers a living wage,” the attorney told the Los Angeles Times. “Disney should not get a pass.”