The lowest-paid cast members at Disneyland could be getting a wage increase after the California Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Disney regarding whether an Anaheim wage law applied to certain employees at the theme park.
As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal ordered raises and back pay for Disney employees, known as cast members, over the summer after a class-action lawsuit was filed.
“Disney’s at the end of the road in terms of appeals,” Sarah Grossman-Swenson, an attorney representing Disney workers, told the L.A. Times. “The appellate decision is clear that Disney is required to comply with the law. The only issue left is the amount of damages.”
In 2018, Anaheim voters passed a law requiring a $15 minimum wage for companies in Anaheim’s resort area who enjoyed “tax rebate” agreements with the city. The measure, known as Measure L, was placed on a ballot thanks to a petition led by a coalition of Disney unions, the Times reported.
Ahead of the election, Disney asked the city to dissolve a “45-year gate tax shield and a $267-million bed-tax break for a luxury hotel project” that never came to fruition, the Times reported.
Anaheim’s city attorney initially said that the law wouldn’t apply to Disney since the agreements were canceled.
However, a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of cast members begged to differ. The lawsuit claimed that the company was violating the law by failing to pay its workers a living wage.
The legal dispute between the two parties seems to be settled with the latest ruling.
“We are aware of the Court’s decision and will be complying with the requirements of Measure L,” Jessica Good, Disneyland Resort spokesperson, said in a statement.
Cast members determined to be impacted by Measure L will receive retroactive pay dating back to Jan. 1, 2019. However, it’s unclear how many cast members will be affected by this ruling or how much money they will receive.