Women Against Walt Disney Co.: Why Did Female Employees File a Lawsuit Against the Company?

source: Pixabay

A class action law firm brought Walt Disney Co. to court alleging that the company ''tends to value male workers more than female workers,” and tends to underpay women.

The San Francisco-based Andrus Anderson LLP is looking for female Walt Disney employees in California, hired from 2015 onward. The main arguments against the entertainment conglomerate are that the internal compensation policies have a discriminatory effect on women.

The suit also accuses Disney that it lacks a mechanism to guarantee that the women are not paid less than their male colleagues who hold the same positions.

LaRonda Rasmussen and Karen Moore, two of the women mentioned in the lawsuit, claimed they got paid significantly less than their male counterparts performing the same duties. 

Rasmussen has been serving as a financial analyst at Walt Disney Co. for the past 11 years. She made a base salary of $109,958 a year. She found out that the six men who had the same job title as she did all made more than she did. According to Rasmussen, the pay gap was ranging between $16,000 and $40,000.

After Rasmussen raised the issue with the human resources department, she received a $25,000 pay rise in November 2018. At the same time, two other female colleagues also received sizable raises which according to the law firm is a clear sign of the rising awareness about the gender pay gap within the company.

According to the lawsuit, the corporate audit also revealed that the female Disney employees received lower remunerations than men because of the widespread policy to set new employees' salaries based on their employment history. 

The law firm also found out that the male employees at Walt Disney Co. in the United Kingdom receive 22 percent more than their female colleagues. The companies in the country are required to release salary information for transparency publicly, the lawyers explained.

Andrus Anderson filed the class action lawsuit in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the Equal Pay Day. The law firm has extensive experience in similar cases, including Intel, Steptoe & Johnson, and Farmers Insurance.

A spokesperson for Disney commented on the lawsuit briefly, denying all the allegation.

To celebrate the Equal Pay Day, the state of California launched an initiative to fight the gender pay gap in collaboration with the Time's Up project and numerous local companies, including Apple and Airbnb.

What about the situation in the company you are working for? Do you think there is a gender pay gap there too?