Discrimination Lawsuit by Former Disney IT Workers Has Been Dropped

A lawyer representing former Walt Disney World information technology employees has just dropped a discrimination suit against Walt Disney Parks & Resorts which has been ongoing since December of 2016. The suit alleged that Disney had required them to train their own overseas replacements, less expensive foreign employees under H-1B visas.

In response to the news, a statement from Disney said, “As we have said all along, these lawsuits were completely baseless.”

A U.S. Magistrate Judge ruled against giving the lawsuit class action status last June. This was the second lawsuit brought forth on the issue, the first was dismissed by a judge in October of 2016.

Sara Blackwell, who represents the former IT employees, admitted that the legal battle was unwinnable. “We lost because what Disney did was legal,” she said.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in June of 2016, Disney CEO Bob Iger referenced the situation, remarking himself that although legal, the practice of having employees train their replacement wasn’t a smart call. “The mistake that was made is that we asked people who were leaving to help train their successors. That’s common in the business,” Iger said, “but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right. And looking back, I’m sorry that we did that because there’s something insulting about that.”

105 of the 250 workers fired had found new employment with the Walt Disney Company by February of 2015.

Although the suit has been dropped, the former IT workers will continue to work for H-1B visa reform, along with Blackwell herself.

Sources: News Channel 8 (NBC), The Hollywood Reporter


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