Disney Compensation Study To Become Public?
This just days after we reported on a would-be diversity initiative by The Walt Disney Company; tonight, Deadline posted a story regarding a possible lawsuit against the company.
Lawsuit Coming Soon? Disney Compensation Equity Under Review
The Walt Disney Company may be losing some of its privilege, at least when it comes to a potential pay-equity class-action lawsuit against the House of Mouse, what they knew and when they knew it.
As part of the ongoing action first filed back in April 2019 by two long-time female employees of Disney, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on September 25 ordered the company to partially pull back the corporate curtain on how compensation is determined…
First revealed in a document dump by Disney lawyers on August 6, this could end up being a mere fishing expedition or a treasure trove for plaintiffs LaRonda Rasmussen, Karen Moore, and now others, depending on how the legal pendulum swings at a November 13 hearing in DTLA.
Looking For Back Pay, Lost Benefits
Patten explained the plaintiffs, “Walt Disney Studios employees Rasmussen and Moore first launched the action back in April 2019 in a move for back pay, lost benefits and other compensation. Claiming that there is an institutional discrepancy in compensation based on gender at the company, the duo was joined by eight other women on September 18, 2019, in an amended complaint that the company unsurprisingly declared deserved no standing and shouldn’t be allowed to become a class-action suit.”
However, based on further litigation, there is a chance that the class-action could be certified.
If this matter were to receive class-action certification then, under California’s Equal Pay Act tens of thousands of women who worked or have worked for the Disney empire could be eligible to make a claim and join the case.
Meanwhile, Deadline added, “While Judge Daniel Buckley hasn’t yet made that probe public yet, and may never do so, he does want comprehensive outline by October 16.”
How The Suit Started
Back in March, Newsweek posted about the start of the initial suit:
Filed in April 2019, the lawsuit began with financial analyst LaRonda Rasmussen who has worked at Disney since 2008. In 2017, Rasmussen alleged that her male co-workers earned significantly more money than her, ranging from $16,000 to $40,000 more a year.
Rasmussen requested a salary audit from human resources and found that she was paid less, but the company said that it was not based on gender. In November 2017, Rasmussen received a raise by about 23 percent. Payroll records cited an “equity adjustment,” but Rasmussen still said that she’s still paid on the lower side of what co-workers performing similar duties are given.