Does Disney discriminate against its women workers? A lawsuit recently filed in Los Angeles County claims that the entertainment giant pays its female employees less than it does males for the same work.
The lawsuit is the latest splash in the news about income disparity among the genders. Large companies like Disney have been dealing with increased scrutiny on their pay practices both in the United States and abroad. They’ve also been feeling the pressure to be more proactive against workplace inequalities between the genders.
The current lawsuit against Disney was filed on behalf of two long-term employees who are claiming lost benefits, back wages and other compensation, alleging that they were both underpaid for years. One woman has worked for the company for 11 years. After she made a formal complaint to the company’s human resources department in 2017 and asked for an audit to determine if she was being paid less than men doing the same work, she was given a bump in her salary of $25,000. However, the company maintained the increase wasn’t due to her complaint but instead a reaction to “an evaluation of market forces.”
The other woman has worked for Disney for more than 20 years. She claims that she was actively discouraged from applying for a management position. Then, once a man was hired for the job, he began making substantially more income than she makes — although they perform nearly the same work.
For Disney’s part, the company denies the allegations and claims that its “robust pay equity practices” are actually ahead of the curve.
It may be quite a while before this case is settled, but one thing is for certain: Gender inequality in the workplace does exist. If you’re being paid less than you’re due because of your gender, it may be time to get a legal opinion about your situation.