Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of Roy Disney, brother to the famous Walt Disney. She has been a long-time critic of Walt Disney Company and its employment practices, namely for what she calls its practice of placing profits ahead of workers. As a documentary filmmaker and activist herself, she is passionate about workers’ rights.
Recenty, Abigail has again spoken out against Disney regarding the health and safety of its workers within the ongoing health crisis. Most Disney parks reopened within the past week. She states that not only is proper testing not being done enough, but that the company should not force employees who are at high risk of infection, such as those with diabetes, to come in and work at an hourly minimum wage if the company views them as equal in rights and dignity to its C-suite executives.
While the OSH Act would protect workers from returning to work if it presented “imminent danger”, it is not completely clear whether COVID fits that description. The reason being that the virus is not limited to just the workplace. At this time, workers do have a right to refuse returning to work if there are conditions that would make them more susceptible to contracting COVID. However, while their jobs may be held, the employer is not required to pay them until they return to work.
We are all navigating uncharted territory with the current pandemic. Rules and regulations are fluid, with some changing on a day to day basis. If you have questions or concerns about your employment rights, do not hesitate to consult an attorney who can make sure you are being treated fairly. You do have rights when it comes to your health and safety in the workplace.