Disney pays $3.8 million for violating minimum wage rules

Walt Disney Settles Florida Wage Dispute For $3.8 Million

The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to provide $3.8 million in back wages to thousands of hotel- and timeshare-resort workers after U.S. Labor Department investigated violations of minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping rules.

The federal agency said Friday that the back wages will be paid to more than 16,000 workers at the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Florida.

The labor department also said Disney did not compensate employees for the time they spent performing "pre-shift" duties, and that the resorts failed to adequately record time and payroll records.

The two Disney holdings, the department said, deducted a "costume" expense from some employees' pay that caused their wages to fall below the federal minimum wage.

"Employers can not 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 in the statement. "We hope the 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".

Disney can't charge the actors who dress up as characters for their costumes - at least, not if it pushes their hourly pay below minimum wage. It is also unclear how the potential violations were brought to the agency's attention.

According to the Labor Department, the resorts cooperated with the investigation and worked to ensure employees would receive the pay they had earned.

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