There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the Disney Parks in U.S. and when they plan to reopen. The company recently extended the closure from March 31, 2020 to “until further notice.”
The company has continued to pay their cast members and have recently released a statement stating they will continue to do so through April 18, 2020. Now, it has been announced that most non-essential, non-union workers will be temporarily furloughed the following day.
The Walt Disney Company notified U.S.-based executives, as well as, non-union hourly employees of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products in a letter which says the following:
“With the utmost care and consideration, we are instituting a temporary, short-term furlough for executive, salaried and non-union hourly Cast Members based in the U.S. with the exception of those whose roles or projects are crucial to maintaining our operations during this closure period, effective April 19th.”
The company went on to say:
“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.”
During this temporary furlough, cast members will still be able to maintain both health and insurance benefits. The company will pay both the employer and employee weekly benefit contributions; If eligible, use their paid-time off hours accumulated, which is vacation and floating holidays; Once furloughed, access an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance benefits;Continue progress toward their education goals with the Disney Aspire education program; and Use services provided by LifeCare, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness resources.
Disney says the decision to furlough was to preserve all cast member jobs, and to make an easier transition for the cast members once the parks reopen and is safe for them to return to work.