Disney is being sued over claims that it underpays female employees in same capacity as male employees. The case which was presented on behalf of two women, claims the company does not make it a point of call to ensure women are not paid less than male counterparts for the same work.
Andrus Anderson LLP claims corporate policies, such as basing new employees’ wages on previous salaries, have a discriminatory effect on women.
In a complaint, reported in Variety, financial analyst LaRonda Rasmussen raised a concern regarding her remuneration with Disney’s Human Resources after discovering six men who she shared same job title with, were being paid more than she was. As claimed, the pay disparities ranged from $16,000 per year (£12,147) to $40,000 (£30,368). She was given a $25,000 (£19,000) raise but alleges she still makes significantly less than her average male counterpart.
“Like other companies that operate without transparency, consistency, and accountability,” the legal papers – filed on behalf of Rasmussen and another woman, Karen Moore, claim, “Disney’s leadership tends to value male workers more than female workers.”
“Taken together, Disney’s compensation policies, procedures and practices are not valid, job-related, or justified by business necessity.”
Disney however denies the allegations, calling them “without merit”. A spokesperson for Disney – which has offices, studios and parks around the world – responded: “The lawsuit is without merit and we will defend against it vigorously,”
Andrus Anderson LLP are similarly suing several other companies including Intel, Steptoe & Johnson and Farmers Insurance.
Last year, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar creative officer John Lasseter were forced to step down in the wake of sexual assault allegations made by former employees. Lasseter apologised via email for having distributed “unwanted hugs” to colleagues.