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It’s the Circle of Wrongful Termination

April 28, 2015 Legal Team

The Disney Corporation is famous for its lavish, daily productions that happen in their parks around the world. Their animatronics are impressively advanced, their floats are decked out in color and sparkle, and their “cast members” are dressed incredibly detailed costumes. What happens to those who try to disrupt Disney’s mechanized and methodical shows?

At Walt Disney World in Florida, summer rain is not an uncommon thing. One day in June, it rained on some performer’s costumes that were being stored outside. The costumes had been worn recently, so they still were covered in the performers’ sweat and bodily fluids. The costumes were brought inside to save them from the rain. They were set down on top of and leaning against unitards and other costume pieces for other performers set to dance in “The Festival of the Lion King Show.”

When the Lion King performers retrieved their unitards for the evening show, they discovered their costumes had been dirtied by the other garments. The three male performers approached management and asked for new unitards. Management did not comply with their requests, but rather asked them to wear the soiled costumes “for the sake of the show.” The dancers refused, stating it was unsanitary, unhealthy, and not safe to do so. The show was canceled as a result, and later, the dancers were terminated.

The union that represents the cast members, Teamsters Local 385, worked with the former employees in their arbitration process. A federal arbitrator sided with the employees, ordering Disney to rehire the performers and compensate back pay owed to them for being out of work.

An addendum has been added to the employees’ union rights stating “all costume pieces will receive a minimum of 12 hours of drying and sanitation between performances.”

Source: News 13 Orlando News