Disneyland Resort Cast Members Could See Wage Increase To $20 After Court Ruling

Disney cast members could see their pay increased to nearly $20 an hour following a California court ruling this week, according to The OC Register. 

What’s Happening:

  • A California appellate court ruling this week that found that the Disneyland Resort illegally skirted a 2018 voter-approved living wage measure, and Cast Members could see their pay increased to nearly $20 an hour.
  • Cast members sued in 2019, arguing Measure L, which requires businesses that receive subsidies from Anaheim to raise wages to at least $15 an hour, with $1 annual increases through 2022 and cost-of-living hikes after that, applies to Disney, but that the company failed to follow it.
  • The ruling affects Disney Park, hotel, food, and service workers employed by Sodexo, a food service contractor that works with Disney.
  • Orange County Superior Court Judge William D. Claster said that while Disney benefited from 1996 agreements with Anaheim that use hotel taxes to pay debt on a parking structure for Disneyland visitors, those agreements don’t constitute a tax rebate or a subsidy as described in the ballot measure. On Thursday, July 13, a three-judge panel for California’s Fourth Appellate District disagreed with that interpretation, saying “Consequently, Disney receives a city subsidy within the meaning of the living wage ordinance and it is therefore obligated to pay its employees the designated minimum wages,” the appellate panel ruled. “Thus, we reverse the trial court’s order granting Disney and (food service contractor) Sodexo’s motion for summary judgment.”
  • Attorney Richard McCracken, who represented the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and subsequent appeal, says that they ruling is a monumental victory for Disney Cast Members who have been fighting for better wages and benefits. “Disney’s ongoing refusal to pay more than 25,000 employees a living wage has resulted in this case becoming one of the largest living wage class action lawsuits,” said attorney Sarah Grossman-Swenson, who is McCracken’s co-counsel.
  • A Disney spokesperson declined to say whether the company will appeal the decision, telling The OC Register that they are “reviewing the opinion and considering our options.”

Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.