(UnitedVoice.com) – Disney has billed itself as an inclusive place to visit and work for. As such, the company is locked in a battle with Florida over the issue of inclusivity. Ironically, the company is being sued for allegedly discriminating against women.
In 2019, Andrus Anderson filed a class action lawsuit against Disney in California state court. In August 2022, Cohen Milstein joined the lawsuit. On December 8, 2023, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a ruling granting the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and certifying a class of women who brought claims under California’s Equal Pay Act.
The state requires women to compare themselves to men whose jobs are “substantially similar.” According to a press release by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, the entertainment company classifies its positions into job levels and families. An expert allegedly reviewed the material and determined that if a job was assigned the same level and family then they were “substantially similar.”
The lawsuit alleges the company routinely underpays its female employees who are working in “substantially similar” jobs. Also, they are often passed over for promotions. They argue that they aren’t valued as much as men across all levels of the company.
The lawyers are claiming the class of women has been underpaid $150 million in wages. In doing so, they alleged the company violated the Fair Employment & Housing Act and California’s Equal Pay Act.
The lawsuit, which includes 9,000 women, is the largest suit ever certified under California’s Equal Pay Act. Variety reported that one of the attorneys who joined the case, Lori Andrus, spoke outside of a courtroom in downtown LA and said, “Disney has been gaslighting these women for four years.” She made it clear that the women involved in the suit didn’t feel any malice toward the company. She explained that they love their jobs and the brand, but they believe Disney should respect them in their workplace.
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