Business

Disney to pay workers $3.8 million over costume fees, wages

Deductions for costumes put some of Disney’s theme park workers below minimum wage.

Kent Phillips

Deductions for costumes put some of Disney’s theme park workers below minimum wage.

Walt Disney Co. has agreed to pay $3.8 million in back wages to 16,339 employees, including workers at its Florida theme parks whose hourly pay allegedly fell below the minimum wage when the company deducted the cost of uniforms and costumes.

The company also failed to compensate employees for duties performed before the designated start of their shifts and failed to maintain accurate payroll records, the US Labor Department said Friday in announcing the agreement with the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc., both in Florida.

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‘‘Employers cannot make deductions that take workers below the minimum wage and must accurately track and pay for all the hours their employees work,’’ Daniel White, district director for the Labor Department’s wage and hour division in Jacksonville, said in a written statement.

He said Disney was cooperative throughout the investigation. Efforts to reach a spokesman for the company were not immediately successful.

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The agreement covers alleged violations between 2013 and 2017 and says that Disney is not admitting any violations occurred.

Disney has agreed to start within 30 days training all managers, supervisors, and nonexempt employees at all its Florida resort hotels ‘‘on what constitutes compensable work time and the need to accurately record all such time.’’

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