Disney agrees to pay workers $3.8 million in back wages, costume fees

Two subsidiaries of the Walt Disney Company have agreed to a $3.8 million payment in back wages to thousands of hotel- and timeshare-resort workers after investigations by the US labor department, uncovered violations of minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping rules.

Disney would pay back wages to 16,339 employees, of the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp and the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US Inc. The payout would average out to about $233 per worker.

According to the labor department, employees were routinely not paid for 15 minutes of work before and after shifts. Disney also cut a uniform expense that caused the hourly rates of some workers to fall below the federal minimum wage. The resort had also not maintained required records of hours worked by certain employees.

The department had not said what led to the investigation.

The agreement covers almost 700 employees who worked at the Old Key West Resort since November 2013. An additional 15,000 employees working at other Florida resorts since January 2015 would also receive compensation.

Disney said in a statement: ''the Department of Labor has identified a group of cast members who may have performed work outside of their scheduled shift, and we will be providing a one-time payment to resolve this. We are adjusting our procedures to avoid this in the future.''

''These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well,'' said Daniel White, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Jacksonville. ''Employers cannot make deductions that take workers below the minimum wage and must accurately track and pay for all the hours their employees work,'' Daniel White, district director for the labor department's wage and hour division in Jacksonville, said in a written statement.

''The Disney resorts were very cooperative throughout the investigative process and worked with the division to ensure employees received the pay they earned,'' White said.