Starting on April 19th, Disney will furlough employees with jobs that “aren’t necessary.” This will come after five weeks of compensation for Disney cast members despite many of the Disney businesses being shut down due to the coronavirus. The announcement came via a statement that was released by Disney today. This comes after Disney announced that its Disney Parks will be closed indefinitely. Currently, there are no parks open globally. Movies are also getting delayed release dates and production grinding to a halt.
Disney employees who are impacted by the furlough will continue to remain Disney employees. They will also continue to receive full health benefits. Disney will also pay the cost of “employee and company premiums.” Cast members who are part of the Disney Aspire program will continue to have access to the educational program as well.
Cast members will be able to utilize their paid time off if they choose. They will also be eligible for an extra $600 per week through the United States government’s stimulus bill. They will also be eligible for state unemployment insurance.
This current furlough impacts non-union cast members. Expect an announcement to be forthcoming from Disney soon about what will happen for union cast members.
Statement from The Walt Disney Company Regarding Furlough
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.