Fireworks explode over the Cinderella Castle at The Magic Kingdom, part of Disney World on January 20, 2017 in Orlando, Florida, US.
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Disney will furlough its non-union park employees starting on April 19 as the coronavirus pandemic keeps its theme parks closed.
“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,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
During the furlough, employees will receive full health-care benefits, with Disney paying the cost of employee and company premiums. They also will be able to continue with their Disney Aspire education programs, the company said.
Employees will also be eligible for $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance, according to Disney.
“This reality has been sobering to all of us,” executives from Disney Parks, Experiences and Products wrote in a letter to staff Thursday. “As difficult as this decision was, we know it was the right one to help protect our cast members, our guests and our communities.”
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.