Disney Will Furlough Employees "Whose Jobs Aren't Necessary" This Month

Disney has announced a plan to furlough employees “whose jobs aren’t necessary” this month. The company announced that it would begin furloughing its employees on April 19th. This all comes after the closing of all the Disney Parks in the United States. Adding to the financial impact is the fact that all of the restaurants associated with those parks, and the attached resorts also faced closures. There was an estimate last month that Disney was losing about $350,000 a day for every one that passed with the parks’ gates closed. Movie revenue has also slowed as projects have had to be shuffled to accommodate theater closures.

Mulan was supposed to be a big play for Disney this summer, but it remains to be seen what will occur with the project now. Onward hit theaters shortly before the closures and ended up being released early on digital download and Disney+. Frozen 2 also got moved to the streaming platform ahead of schedule. Also of note would be the big Marvel Studios tentpole that was poised to make splash in the early summer months with Black Widow. The fall may present a chance to make those gains back, but for now, the picture is anything but rosy. The statement from the company is in full below:

"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our world with untold suffering and loss, and has required all of us to make sacrifices. Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses. Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation."

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"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. The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney, and those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program."

"Additionally, employees with available paid time off can elect to use some or all of it at the start of the furlough period and, once furloughed, they are eligible to receive an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance."