In a lawsuit that dates back nearly three years, a group of women assert that there is a secrecy policy at Disney that violates the California Equal Pay Act. The outcome of the case may clarify whether Disney instituted a pay secrecy policy that violated California law by prohibiting employees from discussing their pay in the workplace.
Claims of discrimination and pay secrecy
According to the women’s class action lawsuit, Disney pays its female employees less than its male employees for work that is similar in nature. Recently, the women sought to amend their lawsuit to state that the company has also violated California Labor Code section 232 by instituting a uniform policy regarding pay secrecy. The latest claim is said to be based on recently uncovered evidence.
In December 2019, Disney submitted a contention stating that the circumstances of each of the women’s pay are not similar enough for the women to submit their claim jointly — or as a class action. This contention was rejected by a judge. Disney is expected to update its argument concerning class certification in the near future. Currently, all parties involved in the case are in talks. To prove their case, the women are looking to have employee salary data analyzed by third-party consultants. Depositions are expected.
When employment policies violate the rights of many
If you suspect that you are being paid unfairly on the basis of discrimination, the problem may not be isolated to your individual case. Discriminatory employment policies can lead to class action lawsuits that in turn help multiple employees get the pay and benefits they need and deserve. For more on employment law and class action lawsuits, please see our overview of employment class actions.