New York residents may have heard that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts fired 250 of its information technology workers and replaced them with non-U.S. citizens. On Dec. 12, 30 of the former workers filed a lawsuit against Disney in a federal court in Orlando. The former Disney employees are alleging that they were discriminated against based on their national origin.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs were among the 250 IT workers who were fired in late 2014. Before they were fired, they were allegedly required to train the foreign workers who would soon be hired to replace them. Whether they were brought to the U.S. on a work visa or hired to work remotely from overseas, every replacement IT worker was from India.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that their former managers at Disney treated them less favorably because of their race or color and ancestry. Meanwhile, the replacement IT workers were allegedly treated more favorably. There have been two other lawsuits filed against Disney over the same kinds of issues, but both of those lawsuits were dismissed. The plaintiffs in the most recent lawsuit are seeking actual and punitive damages.
National origin discrimination occurs when an employee or applicant for employment is treated less favorably because of their real or perceived place of birth or upbringing. Employers could be held responsible for this type of discrimination even if they were wrong in their assumption about where a worker is from. Those who feel that they have been treated unfairly in such a manner may want to meet with an attorney to see if the filing of a claim with the EEOC would be advisable.
Source: ABC News, "Disney IT Workers Allege Discrimination in Lawsuit," Mike Schneider, Dec. 14, 2016