It turns out even the happiest place on earth is susceptible to poor labor practices. Disney will be paying out $3.8 million in back wages to thousands of employees at the company’s hotels, resorts and time shares in Florida.
The Orlando Sentinel has all the details, but we want to highlight a few of the unfortunately common labor violations illustrated by this case.
Payment for uniforms
One of the issues the U.S. Labor Department uncovered in its investigation was that employees were paying for uniforms out their paychecks. This alone isn’t necessarily a violation of employment laws, but the expense caused some employees’ hourly rates to fall below the minimum wage. Under New York law, in certain circumstances, employees are entitled to additional pay for maintenance of their required uniforms.
Poor record keeping
The investigation also found administrators were doing a poor job of keeping records of the hours and compensation of employees. Due to this poor record keeping, some employees were not being paid for all the hours they worked, and some employees were found to be doing work outside of their scheduled shift. This highlights the importance of employers keeping accurate records; failing to do so is often found to be a violation of the law.
Unpaid time for administrative tasks
The report also found that employees often wouldn’t be paid for 15 minutes of work before and after their shifts. This led to Disney instituting a new training policy for administrators that educated them on tasks that must be included in an employee’s work time, such as logging onto computers and signing out keys.
This case highlights a few areas where seemingly small mistakes can lead to big issues for employers and leave employees with less than the full compensation they are entitled to receive.