Last week Disney announced that it would be furloughing employees that were in a “non-necessary” role. Initially, a lot of furloughs went out to non-union cast members in the Disney Parks. Disney executives also took a pay cut. This week, furlough notices went out to employees at the Walt Disney Studios.
The furloughs are impacting all of the Walt Disney Studios which include Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Disney’s live-action studio, Walt Disney Animation Studios, 20th Century and Searchlight. The Hollywood Reporter shared that quite a few of the furloughs are impacting both the marketing and distributing departments especially hard. At this time it isn’t known how many people were impacted by these furloughs.
Disney employees who are furloughed will still remain as Disney employees. They will also continue to receive full health care benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney. If they were enrolled in the Disney Aspire program, they can continue to have access to the education offered through this program.
Furloughed employees who have available paid time off can use as much of it as they want at the start of the furlough period. They will also be eligible for $600 per week in federal compensation through the stimulus bill. They will also be eligible for state unemployment insurance.
The entertainment industry has been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic. Because of social distancing, movie theaters are closed. Disney theme parks are also closed as well. At this point, it isn’t known when any of these will be reopening.