The Magical Kingdom is about to be hit with a slew of lawsuits from its tech savvy subjects in the IT department. Two former employees of Walt Disney World filed federal lawsuits against the company on Monday, claiming that they are but two of the 250 tech workers at Disney who were laid off in favor of foreign workers with H-1B visas. Both of the lawsuits are seeking class-action status.
The U.S. government allows an excess of 65,000 H-1B visas to be issued annually to foreign workers in specialty occupations. These workers must meet income and education requirements and perform jobs that are so complex that U.S. workers of similar educational status cannot fill the desired roles.
The claimants are also suing HCL Inc. and Cognizant Technologies, the consulting and outsource companies that staffed the H-1B workers on behalf of Disney. They contend that the agencies went afoul of federal law by misrepresenting information in the application for the foreign workers’ H-1B visa applications.
According to a report last year by the New York Times, the original Disney staff members were forced to train their foreign replacements after being informed that they were being relieved of their posts.
This is one of many recent lawsuits filed in less than a year against the megalithic company. In July 2015, two security guards filed suit for alleged discrimination. One of the guards claimed that she was passed over for a position due to her race and gender in favor of a less qualified individual. Another claimed that he was wrongfully terminated for using electronic devices while monitoring security cameras. He alleges that he was targeted and terminated due to his race and nationality, citing the ability of other employees to engage in similar behavior without facing similar punishment.
The news regarding Disney arrives on the heels of former New York City mayor and businessman Mike Bloomberg championing the unlimited issuance of H-1B’s as part of his potential run as a third-party presidential candidate.
Business ethics are a hot topic of discussion around the Orlando attraction community. It was recently announced that Marcus Lemonis, serial entrepreneur and star of the CNBC show “The Profit,” is planning to launch a business education series at Universal Orlando Resort for students. On the show, Lemonis assists business owners who are failing in areas of staffing, management, and other operational components of their respective businesses.
Discussions about the discrimination of workers are often held in tandem with dialogue about worker’s compensation. The 71st Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, organized by the Workers’ Compensation Institute, will be held in Orlando in August 2016.
If you are facing a situation where you believe that you’re being discriminated against on the job or being denied fair compensation, reach out to our attorneys at Morgan & Morgan for a free case evaluation.