Walt Disney World in Florida has been hit with wage theft and other allegations and has agreed to pay $3.8 million in back wages to 16,339 of its costume characters, such as Mickey, Goofy and the like.
This comes after the Department of Labor (DOL) found that Disney was deducting the cost of the costumes from the employees’ paychecks. Such deductions are legal under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) so long as they don’t push the employees’ pay below minimum wage, which they did in Disney’s case. The DOL also found that workers at Disney World were required to perform uncompensated chores before and after normal work hours. Disney resorts also failed to keep proper payroll records.
“These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well,” Daniel White, district director for the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in Jacksonville, Fla., said in a press release. “Employers cannot make deductions that take workers below the minimum wage and must accurately track and pay for all the hours their employees work.”