EEOC complaints filed against Disney for discrimination
Disney’s twenty-seven former IT employees have filed their complaints under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for adopting discriminatory practices.
The complaints are an outcome of the mass lay off made by Disney. In January 2015, Disney laid off its two hundred and fifty tech workers employees from its Walt Disney World facilities in Orlando, Florida. Later, one hundred and twenty were taken back but reinstated into different positions and the rest of the vacancies were filled by an outsourcing company that brought in foreigners on the H-1B visas, mostly from India. This H-1B visa program was designed to augment and not displace American high tech jobs that were supposedly unable to be filed by qualified American workers. It focused on bringing in foreigners with advanced science or computer skills to fill discrete positions that couldn’t be filled by the American workers due to lack of skill.
Instead what Disney did was to displace the American counterparts from their jobs and offer them to the foreigners brought in through the H-1B visa program. It was done so as to cut down on the costs for which Disney outsourced all domestic IT jobs to cheaper foreign replacements and the same appears to be abuse of H-1B visa program.
The employees prior to their layoff were given a ninety day period wherein they were required to train their replacements. It is alleged in the complaint that providing such training to your own replacements was much more humiliating for the workers that contributed to a hostile environment. Moreover, the employees felt that they were discriminated because of nationality as well as race and age.
The EEOC complaints filed by the workers, is the first step or a precursor towards a federal lawsuit being slammed onto Disney for discrimination towards the American workers. The workers plan onto filing a class action as well as individual actions. Deadline to file individual state claim within Florida is January 30, 2016.