A Disney lawsuit filed in Calfironia alleging wage discrimination may become a class-action suit worth $300 million.
These days, it seems like Disney is involved in one lawsuit after another. Even as the House of Mouse takes Florida governor and presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis on in the Southeast, the company is facing a gender discrimination lawsuit in California. That lawsuit has been going on since 2019, and Deadline now reports that attorneys for the original women involved are looking to turn this into a class-action lawsuit that could cause Disney more than $150 million dollars.
The original Disney lawsuit in this matter was filed by former Disney staffers LaRonda Rasmussen and Karen Moore back in 2019. The two women alleged that they were paid less than their male colleagues simply on the basis of their sex, and they are seeking compensation from Disney to make up for lost wages.
One of the reasons the lawsuit has remained active for so long is that Disney has been doing everything it can with its army of lawyers to make the case disappear entirely.
Disney was unsuccessful in making the lawsuit disappear, and the lawyers for the two original plaintiffs now want to turn this into a class-action lawsuit. The new filing alleges that the pay disparity for all women working at Disney for the last eight years comes to more than $150 million.
Furthermore, the lawyers argue that this must become a class action lawsuit because an entire class of workers has been allegedly discriminated against, and the only way for them to get justice is to get justice as a collective.
So far, Disney hasn’t said much about this attempt to change the current lawsuit into a class action suit besides insisting that no such pay gap exists and that they will prove so in court. We’ll be interested to see what Disney’s defense looks like because the proposed class-action lawsuit looks very mathematically sound right now.
It alleges a 2.5 percent pay gap between women and men that, spread across 12,511 women who worked at Disney for an average of 4.38 years during this period, adds up to more than $150 million in lost wages.
Right now, a proposed hearing date for this lawsuit is November 15, and things might go sideways for Disney in a big way at that time. Because this lawsuit has been filed in California, the state’s Equal Pay Act could potentially increase the financial liability of the mega-corporation if this turns into a class-action lawsuit. Specifically, the lawsuit could jump to more than $300 million, and that’s not counting any other sanctions or damages that a judge could add if he sees fit to do so.
While only time will tell what the outcome of this Disney class-action lawsuit will be, the combination of Disney slowing the original suit down plus COVID-related delays means that this proposed change to the suit is coming at the worse possible time.
Superhero fatigue and bad writing turned Quantumania into a bomb and Secret Invasion into a dud, and now Disney is getting rocked by everything from the writer’s strike to the legal troubles of Jonathan Majors. Ultimately, Disney is a company once thought too big to fail, but they might have to soon wish upon a star for their luck to turn around.