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Class Action Challenges Disney Overtime Practices

Sometimes failure to properly classify and pay all employees can lead to more than just one lawsuit. In the case of Walt Disney Co., the company has had two class action lawsuits filed against it in the past two years, the most recent being described by an attorney on the case as a follow-up to the older case.

In the first case, 36 salaried employees filed a class action lawsuit against Walt Disney Co. in 2011. The employees alleged they had been incorrectly classified as managers or “exempt employees”. That case covered the period from July 2004 to August 2010 and all plaintiffs and class members were named, which led to some problems for some of the employees at work.

Due to those problems, none of the class members of the recent case have been named, except for the lead plaintiff, Katherine Clay, who no longer works for Disney. Clay alleges that she was misclassified as an exempt employee, and that Disney took advantage of that situation by not paying her overtime and giving her deadlines which made it impossible for her to take lunch and other breaks. Under California law, employers are required to provide a 30-minute meal break for every five hours worked and a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked.

The penalties for not providing these breaks range from $50 to $200 for each incident and for each employee, in addition to whatever amount they are owed for their overtime hours. Seventy-five percent of those penalties should be paid to the Labor and Work force Development Agency, which is part of the state’s Department of Industrial Relations. The rest gets divided among the employees who sued and their lawyers.

The latest case, involving about 30 current and former employees, has recently been settled out of court for an unspecified amount. However, the class action was still filed so that a Los Angeles Superior Court judge can certify the settlement. The case covers the period from December 1, 2006 through July 20, 2012 and Disney continues to deny any wrongdoing.


The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large services corporations such as Disney for misclassifying employees as managers, failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.

The lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Waukegan and Joliet. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.

Our Oak Park and River Forest overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago wage and hour attorney by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.