Former Disney IT Workers Claim Discrimination In Lawsuit

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ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) — A group of information technology workers laid off by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts claims they were victims of discrimination.

They say they were forced to train their replacements from India before getting fired.

On Monday, the 30 former IT workers filed a suit against the company in an Orlando federal court. They’re seeking punitive damages.

The lawsuit contends that 250 IT workers in Florida were told they would need to train their replacements before they were fired at the end of 2014. Each replacement worker was of Indian origin, and was either brought from overseas or working outside the United States, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges violations of the Older Worker Benefit Protection Act, which protects workers from age discrimination.

Disney managers were “being curt and unprofessional toward plaintiffs but treating the foreign replacements with special treatment,” the lawsuit said. “Plaintiffs were subjected to disparate treatment by defendant solely based on race or color and ancestry.”

Disney said in a statement, “Like the two other dismissed cases brought by this lawyer, this latest lawsuit is nonsense and we will defend it vigorously.”

Two similar lawsuits were previously dismissed by a federal judge this fall. In those lawsuits, two former Disney IT workers alleged the contractors made false statements on the visa forms for the workers who would replace them.

Disney has said the 250 employees were let go under an IT restructuring that shifted its focus to digital and other technologies, and that their work involved skills the company no longer needed. More than 100 of the workers eventually were rehired, the company said.

The lawsuit said the workers applied for other Disney jobs but weren’t hired.

The company also said the restructured IT department eventually will be larger than it was and have 300 new jobs for U.S. workers.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Joe Perrino says:

    That’s plain wrong on Disney’s part. I for one have taken my family once a year to DW for the last 12 years. We will go elsewhere until they do right by the American workers.

    1. i worked at fairview state hospital in costa mesa when i transferred to another job i was ordered to train my replacement , my answer was it is my knowledge i paid for my own school and took it on my own time so pound sand went home on 2 weeks sick leave reported to new job . that left them in the cold 2 weeks late a guy shot and killed my boss who was harassing all the staff.

      1. Wow! They should make a movie of that.

  2. Once Trump eliminates H1B Visa hiring, this practice will END. The days of these types of corporate abuses of the immigration system are numbered. Won’t help these poor people, but at least we can stop the bleeding of the American Middle Class.

    1. Rose Mcgrath says:

      Matthew Mooney, I’ll believe it when I see it.

      1. Exactly. When Republicans had congress, the senate, and the presidency during the Bush years they significantly increased the number of H1b to stick it the AFL-CIO and allowed these “guest-workers” to stay beyond 6 years. Also, during those years homeland security accidently gave out TEN THOUSAND extra visas more than congress mandated. They just sad my bad after it all happened and let everyone stay. This is what happens when Republicans have everything. I don’t think Trump has it in him to make the good ol’boys club hire regular americans for more money again when they’ve been so used to putting everything on the brown guy of the month for so long.

  3. Paul Bucy says:

    Not a uncommon Practice in the US IT industry. Its happened to me and my friends ( the training of your indian Replacements). H-1B workers are a plague on American workers in the Tech Industry

    1. Tom Menino says:

      Hey go ahead an train them. It won’t matter. They’ll do what all workers from there do — listen politely and then ignore everything you told them and look for a shortcut low-quality way to do the job quick and dirty, resulting in poor quality and safety issues. So train away, satisfied in the knowledge that Disney’s rides will be breaking down regularly within a couple/few years.

  4. Get Trump involved. He can generate lots of negative press for Disney.

  5. Disney has seen the last of my family!

    1. Why does Disney get all the luck?

  6. Greg Windsor says:

    And people wonder why Trump won …

    1. Greg Hawkins says:

      One Greg to another – RIGHT ON!

  7. 2014? This is an old story. Disney is in the wrong in my opinion. But it is a old story. What is going on? Slow news day? Rehashed Old News is almost as bad a Fake News.

    1. They just filed the suit Monday, so it is this weeks news.

  8. #BoycottDisney Hope Sara Blackwell (attorney for case) nails their hides to the wall. This outsourcing of the American middle class to cheap foreign labor must end or the entire country will collapse. Entire IT industry has been destroyed by it. McDonald’s has moved it to the accounting industry. Next up are healthcare and engineering.

  9. Paul Tibbets says:

    H-1b is a scam, it is supposed be a way to find workers for a job you can not fill, not fire everyone because Indians will work for next to nothing.

    And this one of reasons why I despise Disney and their whole organization.

    1. Didn’t you drop off a package in Hiroshima, back in 1945?

      1. if he is the same “Tibbets” from WW2
        God Bless him.
        the package he delivered probably saved near half a million young American lives.

      2. Don’t pheed Phogg the troll. It’s a real jerk.

      3. Greg Hawkins says:

        YOU LEFTIST LOST – YOU ARE DEPRESSED – drive to the top of a parking structure, get out and jump. You commies are destroyed and set back forever. Trump 8 years + Pence 8 years + Supreme Court = just jump.

  10. Guess I’ll visit Sea World on my next Florida trip. I can’t morally spend money at Disney

  11. They were forced to train their replacements from India before they were fired.? Who the hell would do that? WHo would stick around?

    1. You’re showing your ignorance and obviously haven’t worked in a corporate environment. If you don’t train your replacements and are “difficult” then the company has the right to withhold your severance pay. Get it?

  12. I’m not surprised the purveyor of unsophisticated amusements and entertainment, as well as $7.00 sodas at their parks would treat employees that way. We are brainwashed that Disney means quality. The movies are Pablum even for kids, the Broadway plays belong in theme parks, and the parks appeal to lemming like tourists who like to lead around like cattle. Phooey to the Mouse!

  13. Brian Smyth says:

    This is kind of like being forced to dig your own grave.

  14. John Paglia says:

    I don’t understand why everyone in the USA hasn’t boycotted DIsney yet.

  15. many companies have been doing this for years to pressure their older IT guys to retire and not hire new ones. Thank Obama for those LOST jobs.

  16. And I bet 95% of these IT workers voted for Obama, twice. You get what you vote for.

  17. blame CompTIA (security+ and other exams like that). google “comptia dc fly in” and see for yourself about their stated lobbying goals of replacing foreign IT people with us citizens. CompTIA is a non-profit and has managed to get their certifications required into too many government positions and jobs.

  18. John Kelp says:

    Quest Diagnostics forced their IT people to do the same thing. Please use LabCorp if you have the option.

  19. Mara Massey says:

    It’s one thing to replace your workers, but to be blackmailed into training the new workers is outrageous. Good for them for bringing a law suit.

  20. ABC too busy to cover this story, or are they looking over THEIR shoulders as well?

  21. what a disgrace of an all AMERICAN Company…. This is why H1B visas should be shutdown…

  22. If they worked like many of the employees I had, I don’t blame them. My business grew 36% EVERY year for ten years. I paid more than my competition, had profit sharing and offered my employees the business for merely the cost of inventory. Not one wanted to work any more responsibly or harder.
    I closed the business.
    I started another business with no employees, I’m making more money and they’re still looking for work.

    1. Greg Evans says:

      Your business grew by 36% annually and you think you’re employees didn’t work hard enough? I hope you invented this story to get a reaction. If not, how much more did you expect them to do?

  23. Someone obviously didn’t read Trump’s memo! Ban Disney for helping to brainwash our kids!

  24. Floyd Martin says:

    Just a plain sorry company!
    Don’t go to Disney world or land ever!
    Buy American, Support Americans!

  25. The employees should all quit and tell Disney to pound sand.

  26. Jason Stone says:

    Any kid who’s ever gone to Disney World/Land to work comes back with the same story of working for deplorable people for slave wages. Hard to imagine how these fiends have kept their image so bright and shiny for so long.

  27. President TRUMP will put an end to all this devious firing Americans/hiring illegals business.

    ps. I have banned ALL Disney in my home. So many other options for the kids these days.

  28. I live in Folsom, CA., near an Intel facility, there are thousands of Indian workers here, most on H1B visas. So many that one of the local movie theaters has a couple screens that show Bollywood movies.
    So while American students get spoon fed anti-American propaganda, and demand safe spaces, in India they are learning high-tech skills so they can take the jobs Americans can’t do!!!!

  29. James Murphy says:

    If this is how Disney treats its workers, their parks and products are off limits for me!

  30. Well they can thank Obama and Hillary for this. I bet they even voted for both. At least twice for both, lol.

  31. Brent Bussey says:

    How come every time I get the urge to go to Disney CBS gives me a really good reason not to?

  32. Disney the GREEDIESTplace on earth. They did the same thing in Southern California.

  33. Sheryl Lynn says:

    Oh, yes – those of us who have worked extensively in IT, genuinely feel how much our skills are “no longer needed” when we’re forced to TRAIN our foreign replacements.

    Bank of America did the same thing. These companies should be ashamed of themselves.

  34. Mark Parsons says:

    Disney is dangerous for kids. Read a book called THE ORIGIN OF OUR LEFT-WING SPECIES. It’s on sale (online) at Walmart.

  35. Thom Thumb says:

    WDW has some of the slowest, worst performing computers in the world, when it comes to their DVC web-site, making dinner, fast pass or hotel reservations.

    Disney should hire “back” it’s “American” IT staff.

  36. And DEMOCRATS are just fine with this. Disney supported Hillary and management donated to her campaign.

    ANY WONDER TRUMP WON???????

  37. krew09 says:

    every company that is doing this has been taken over by

  38. Steven Kay says:

    The GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan is like a 3rd world country. Very few Americans are left in the engineering dept.

  39. BC Veel says:

    Easy fix….BOYCOTT everything Disney

    1. Look what Disney did for Hannah Montana. It worked out perfectly for them.

  40. the fine ought to be commensurate with the company’s income for disney to be enough to hurt i suggest something like $10M/ affected employee

  41. This happened to me and 50 of my co-workers at Broadcom in Irvine, Ca. 90% of the PQA team was laid off in June, 2013. Broadcom gave us the option to go to India to train our replacements. I chose to go to India and get a free trip out of it. 5 months later I took a position at Emulex on the automation team testing Fibre Channel adapters. Well, the same happened there. Emulex was bought out by Avago(May, 2015) and sent our jobs to India. This time I did not get a free trip back to India. This seems to be happening far too often. I now work at HPE, thank you Lord. I think the key is develop skills that employers need. It’s very competitive out there, it’s a dog eat dog world.

  42. Lynn Wood says:

    Ah. What we need, I say there son, what we need Is for the politicians, yes, the politicians, to have to train, train i say, as in educated, give away your skills, benefit them of your experience, is what I mean. The politicians can do this nation a great, A Great Service, by training their lower paid replacements from Overseas and so take the onerous rising expense of government a could check back.

    Let us all now propose this!

  43. Mike Arvand says:

    Disney has just gone plain stupid. There’s a new resurgence of Pro-America. and this is gonna cost them bigtime.

  44. Diane Dina says:

    Disney became an evil company years ago when it began undermining family values and Christian values. Parents, why do keep supporting them?

  45. Stop going to Disney…innovation was made in US…maintenance by India…F Them

  46. Cancelled our High Dollar family vacation to Disney world this year, and will visit the third world state of New Hampshire instead!.
    Americans must Unite with our American Brothers or lose out to immigrants Legal and Illegal!

  47. John McLain says:

    there should be a law that if there is a US applicant for a position occupied by foreigner, the foreigner should be fired.

    1. Max McByte says:

      The H1B were supposed to allow companies that could not find “qualified people” to get talent from outside the USA. That is *** NOT *** the case because they are blatantly replacing entire departments that currently do the job. And they want you to believe that they cannot even find web developers. Hell, we created the very technology.

      As we citizens got replaced our skills slowly deteriorate and then it does make it harder to find qualified American citizens. Thats how the game is played on us!

  48. Disney makes a fortune daily from their movies, parks, toys, clothing. This is a terrible idea to save a little extra cash. Will not be buying disney products this Christmas.

  49. This is not new. I had to train my Indian replacement in the late 90’s. I also had to package project information so the project could be done in India. So, guess where American worker’s jobs have gone?

  50. Max McByte says:

    This is happening across many sectors, NOT JUST INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

    Once these H1Bs get in, it spreads and their culture takes over and you become an outsider in your own nation. They are not only doing the heads down programming but they become the managers AND then they get the bodies to do the work from Indian run contracting agencies. You get interviewed by people not of your culture in your own nation!!!!! It lie a mafia operation and you citizens get shut out. You no longer fit in.

    The H1B were supposed to allow companies that could not find “qualified people” to get talent from outside the USA. That is *** NOT *** the case because they are blatantly replacing entire departments that currently do the job. And they want you to believe that they cannot even find web developers. Hell, we created the very technology.

    As we citizens got replaced our skills slowly deteriorate and then it does make it harder to find qualified American citizens. Thats how the game is played on us!

    They call it “free trade”.

    It is a total scam.

    And then their are the CEO’s who make out like bandits. Take Oracle for example. They make their bottom line look good by reducing their labor costs and their stock values go up while we citizens get the boot.

    They take, take and take. They buy yachts costing hundreds of millions of dollars, jets, multiple mega homes they even buy islands.

    These greedy “people” and the corporations they work for are parasites on our communities.

    I truly hate these people.

    THE H1Bs MUST BE TERMINATED AND OUR CITIZENS NEED TO BE HIRED!

    Have a nice apoplectic moment…

    I

  51. Max McByte says:

    The US Chamber of Commerce is also the enemy within.

    They are the ones who lobby for the destruction of our livelihoods so they can make a buck.

  52. jmorlife63 says:

    I’ve made it a point to avoid spending any $$$ with Disney since I first caught wind of the horrible real-life stories I read on blogs associated with Disney Corp. a few years ago. Firing Americans to hire foreign workers and save a buck? I am currently boycotting Disney movies and any products labeled with the Disney logo.

    Disney World sucks!

  53. Tom Seim says:

    I was disturbed enough by these actions by Disney that I sold all of the Disney stock I owned, a substantial amount.

  54. Mark Mach says:

    The hell with Disney. They have ripped off parents – and children – for too long.

  55. Jose Jimenez says:

    Progressive Elite…..Walt must be spinning in his grave.

  56. The white glove wearing rat or mouse or whatever you call, it has gotten old and out-of-date.

  57. Blake Wilson says:

    “IT workers” is too broad a term. Odd are these are low skilled call center workers, who’s skills are no longer in demand. At least they gave some workers and opportunity to transition into other jobs. You’ll find that many of the call center “IT Work” is just ticket handling of IT issues, and requires very little IT skill. Train up, or get out.

    1. Max McByte says:

      Clearly, you do not understand the issue and are ignorant of what is happening.

      The H1B were supposed to allow companies that could not find “qualified people” to get talent from outside the USA. That is *** NOT *** the case because they are blatantly replacing entire departments that currently do the job. And they want you to believe that they cannot even find web developers or as you stated “IT Work” is just ticket handling of IT issues, and requires very little IT skill. Train up, or get out.”. Hell, we created the very technology.

      And it is not ” low skilled call center workers”. I have been to Oracle, Apple, Visa, Cisco, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Gilead Sciences, Wells Fargo, AutoDesk and more and have seem it first hand. It started in the 1990’s..

      This is happening across many sectors, NOT JUST INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

      Once these H1Bs get in, it spreads and their culture takes over and you become an outsider in your own nation. They are not only doing the heads down programming but they become the managers AND then they get the bodies to do the work from Indian run contracting agencies. You get interviewed by people not of your culture in your own nation!!!!! It lie a mafia operation and you citizens get shut out. You no longer fit in.

      The H1B were supposed to allow companies that could not find “qualified people” to get talent from outside the USA. That is *** NOT *** the case because they are blatantly replacing entire departments that currently do the job. And they want you to believe that they cannot even find web developers. Hell, we created the very technology.

      As we citizens got replaced our skills slowly deteriorate and then it does make it harder to find qualified American citizens. Thats how the game is played on us!

      They call it “free trade”.

      It is a total scam.

      And then their are the CEO’s who make out like bandits. Take Oracle for example. They make their bottom line look good by reducing their labor costs and their stock values go up while we citizens get the boot.

      They take, take and take. They buy yachts costing hundreds of millions of dollars, jets, multiple mega homes they even buy islands.

      These greedy “people” and the corporations they work for are parasites on our communities.

      I truly hate these people.

      THE H1Bs MUST BE TERMINATED AND OUR CITIZENS NEED TO BE HIRED!

      Have a nice apoplectic moment…

  58. I once spent a year training my Indian replacement while working at EMC Corp. The H1B visa program is legalized fraud and must be abolished.

  59. Story of my life. As a 30 year career big corporate programmer, this happened to me repeatedly.

  60. Rick Vincent says:

    Sounds like a typical angry liberal journalism “fluff piece” designed to make Disney look bad. Don’t want to train your replacement? Its a free country. Try using these two words, “I quit.”

  61. Bill Carter says:

    Hmmmmm.I wonder if Walt Disney is spinning in his grave!
    End H1B Visas 21 January 2017!

  62. Greg Hawkins says:

    LEFTIST LOST – YOU ARE DEPRESSED – we all understand your pain. Just drive to the top of a parking structure, get out and jump. You liberals are destroyed and set back forever now. From coast to coast Soros and the DNC is finished forever. You can look forward only to Trump 8 years + Pence 8 years + Supreme Court = just jump. I am not against assisted suicide, please feel free to find a lib friend to hold hands with when you jump. 🙂

  63. Rollo Smith says:

    They should cut all the interlopers throats and wallow in the blood!

  64. Pat Anderson says:

    disney’s excuse for this makes no sense. did they or did they not replace american workers with indian workers? if the answer is yes, they are in the wrong and need to be held accountable! there is *no reason* not to hire american workers! period! if the skill level was lower, then hire lower skilled american workers!

    this is a new day and age! we need to take care of our own before we start helping the rest of the world!!

  65. Thom Thumb says:

    Will Trump end the abuse that is rampant for the H1B visa? Time will tell.

  66. I will never again enter a Disney facility or pay one dollar to see or buy a Disney product. To stop this, congress(good luck) must pass an American Worker Displacement Act with a $1 million per worker per day fine for displacing an American worker for a H1b visa holder.

  67. The same thing happened with Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. Hundreds of IT “permanent” contractors lost their jobs after being forced to train workers in Mumbai, India. Dow Chemical Company said it was a “cost initiative”. Why does Dow Chemical Company use workers from a country that has many human rights abuses and treats women like dirt?

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