Disney To Furlough Non-essential US Employees Amid Covid-19

The Walt Disney Co., which temporarily closed Disney parks and resorts and halted media operations, plans to furlough some of its employees in the United States starting April 19. Multiple reports said the furlough will affect employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time amid the surge in coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic.

However, all affected workers will remain Disney employees through the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, while Disney will pay the cost of employee healthcare premiums.

The company has already halted its TV and film production, closed movie theaters and delayed film releases. Despite halting its operations, Disney had committed to full pay and benefits for all employees through April 18.

The company reportedly said, “However, 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.”

Following the temporary halt in its park and media business, Walt Disney has announced various measures to conserve its cash. The company recently said its Chairman and former Chief Executive Robert Iger has agreed to forgo his salary for the year while his successor, CEO Bob Chapek, will take a 50 percent pay cut. Iger will also waive his right to a car allowance, while the company will continue to pay him for health-care benefits.

Further, Disney is reducing base salary among a broad group of its executive level employees, with vice presidents taking a 20 percent salary reduction, senior vice presidents 25 percent, and executive vice presidents and above, 30 percent.

In its efforts to help in the fight against coronavirus, Disney parks and resorts donated more than 270 tons of excess food inventory to area food banks following the closures. The company also donated 150,000 rain ponchos, which are used by nurses across the U.S. to protect their clothing and prolong the use of personal protective equipment.

The company also donated more than 100,000 N95 masks to the states of New York, California and Florida.

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