We finally have an update on employee status from Disneyland, courtesy of Cynthia Littleton at Variety:
The Walt Disney Co. will start the process of putting some employees on furlough status as of April 19 given that there is “no clear indication” when its theme parks and related businesses will be able to reopen because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Disney said in a statement that furloughed employees will still retain their full healthcare benefits during the furlough period, with all premiums paid by the company.
Disney did not specify the number or types of employees that will be furloughed. It’s expected to include most of the workers at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, which remain shuttered indefinitely.
This isn’t easy, but a furlough is better than a layoff. Employees keep their health benefits with Disney paying premiums, which is awesome, and they can still file for unemployment as part of the 2.2 trillion dollar stimulus bill. And, when the parks finally re-open, Cast Members will return to their jobs and the Parks will be up and running much quicker than having to re-hire and re-train new staff.
This comes just after Disney announced pay cuts to top execs, with Bob Iger forgoing his entire salary and Bob Chapek taking a 50% pay cut. Disney is doing everything right in a no-win situation.