The Walt Disney Company has asked a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to block a group of 10 female employees who are suing over pay discrimination from getting class-action status. According to a Fox Business news report, the corporation is arguing that the women’s claims are too specific to be able to apply to its entire workforce. A putative class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of two women last April alleged that Disney engaged in gender-based pay discrimination towards women employees.
Class Action Status Sought
The lawsuit later added eight plaintiffs all of whom worked at different divisions within Disney and are seeking compensation including lost wages and benefits. In their amended lawsuit, the lawyers of the 10 female plaintiffs sought class-action status because they said Disney’s pay practices have an adverse impact on women throughout the state.
But, lawyers for Disney argue the court should not grant class-action status because the women don’t really represent a class of company employees such as “cashiers” or “store managers.” Disney said it denies the allegation that they pay any female employee less than “her similarly situated male coworkers.” Disney’s attorneys said this class action is nothing but “an assortment of individual claims based on highly individualized allegations.” A court hearing to decide whether the suit should receive a class action status has been set for Dec. 11.
California Equal Pay Act
The California Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying their employees less than employees of the opposite sex for equal work. In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act, which further strengthened the Equal Pay Act in many ways and solidified the state’s commitment to achieving real gender pay equity. Unlike other anti-discrimination laws such as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the employee does not need to prove that the employer intended to discriminate against her on the basis of sex. The employee only needs to prove that he or she was paid less for similar work.
Not being paid the right wage for your job can be not just demoralizing, but also humiliating and frustrating. If you have not received equal pay for equal work, you may be able to band with other employees who have had a similar experience and file a class action lawsuit against your employer. An experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.