Times Staff Writer
The Walt Disney Co. will pay $3.8 million in back wages to Florida employees in an agreement reached with the U.S. Labor Department, the agency said Friday.
The back wages will be paid to 16,339 employees of the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc., both in Florida. The Labor Department said in a statement that its Wage and Hour Division found violations of minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to the statement, Disney resorts in Florida deducted a uniform or "costume" expense that caused some employees' hourly rates to fall below the federal minimum wage. The resorts also did not compensate employees performing duties during a pre-shift period before the designated start of their shifts, and during a post-shift period, the statement said. Additionally, the Labor Department said, the resorts failed to maintain required time and payroll records.
"These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well," Daniel White, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Jacksonville, said in the statement. "Employers cannot make deductions that take workers below the minimum wage and must accurately track and pay for all the hours their employees work, including any time they work before or after their scheduled shifts."
White said he hopes resolution of this case "alerts other employers who may be paying employees in a similar manner, so that they too can correct their practices and operate in compliance with the law."