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Pay Secrecy Claim Added to Unequal Pay for Women Lawsuit Against The Walt Disney Company

A class action lawsuit was filed in 2019 on behalf of two Walt Disney Studios Cast Members who believe that the Disney Company was guilty of discrimination and not following pay equity standards. The Walt Disney Company spoke out in a statement in regards to this lawsuit:

The lawsuit’s uninformed generalized allegations about Disney’s policies and practices are baseless. Disney maintains robust pay equity practices and policies. Even before California’s Fair Pay Act, Disney created a specialized team of compensation professionals and lawyers to analyze and address the company’s pay equity practices.

Although despite this statement, the two women involved asked for backpay, lost benefits, as well as additional compensation. They believe that they were payed less than their male counterparts.

Fast forward to today where more allegations against the company’s pay equity practice are making headlines. Eight more women are currently suing The Walt Disney Company over “rampant gender pay discrimination” and are now claiming that on top of the lack of true pay equity, pay secrecy has also played a large role in the discrimination at hand. Disney released additional statements about these allegations and claims that they utilize “robust pay-equity practices and policies”.

The women involved in the case filed an expanded complaint today in State Superior Court. The case is taking place in Los Angeles County where the Walt Disney Studios is located. The filing states that Disney “maintains a strict policy of pay secrecy” and that the women were told “multiple times by their superiors never to speak about their compensation (salaries, bonuses or raises) with other Disney employees”.

Chelsea Hanke, a former home entertainment manager for the company, stated that she has “direct knowledge of a female Disney employee being disciplined for disclosing her pay to co-workers.” The Walt Disney Company responded to her claims saying that the company “does not prohibit its employees from talking about their pay and looks forward to proving the falsity of this latest plaintiff claim.” Penalizing employees for discussing wages is illegal in the United States under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

Source: The New York Times