The Walt Disney Company to Furlough Select Cast Members Starting April 18

Earlier today, The Walt Disney Company announced that select Cast Members and employees will be temporarily furloughed as the company tries to deal with this very challenging situation.


Here's the announcement:

Over the past several weeks, COVID-19 has completely reshaped our daily lives as well as our business. A new chapter in the history of our company began when we closed our theme parks, hotels, stores, and other operations to help lead the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. This reality has been sobering to all of us. As difficult as this decision was, we know it was the right one to help protect our Cast Members, our Guests, and our communities.

[...] As we look ahead, we must make tough decisions about the impacts of the extended closure, and are doing so with two priorities in mind:
  • Caring for our Cast Members: As a company and a leadership team, our focus now is on how best to care for our Cast Members – including keeping [them] safe, protecting [their] benefits, and preserving [their] job for the future.
  • Protecting the future of Disney: As we navigate an extraordinarily challenging business climate, we want to best position our company to weather this crisis.

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 19.

By taking this step now, we are able to allow Cast Members to:
  • Maintain health and insurance benefits coverage, with the company paying both the employer and employee weekly benefit contributions;
  • If eligible, elect to use some or all of their available paid-time off hours (vacation and floating holidays) at the start of the furlough;
  • 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.
And most important, this allows us to preserve the jobs of Cast Members who are, and will continue to be, an important part of the Disney family; and provide an easier return to work when our communities recover from the impact of COVID-19.

This certainly is one of the most difficult choices the company has ever faced. But we are committed to doing everything we can – even when the decisions are unimaginably hard – to help preserve jobs and help ensure that our Cast Members can return to their roles.
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