Disney Characters Had to Pay for Costumes, Problematically

Florida theme park wasn't paying all workers minimum wage
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2017 7:00 PM CDT
Disney World Hit With Labor Code Violation
In this image released by Disney, Miley Cyrus from the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" poses with Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Thursday, May 1, 2008.   (AP Photo/Disney, Garth Vaughan)

Disney World hasn't been paying all its employees minimum wage, an investigation by the US Department of Labor has found. Theme park employees who play Mickey and other Disney characters saw a "uniform or 'costume' expense" deducted from their paychecks, causing some of those workers' hourly rates to fall below federal minimum wage, the DoL says.

While it is legal for an employer to require an employee to pay for his or her own uniform, the employee must still be making minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, after that cost is taken into account. Disney has agreed to pay out $3.8 million in back wages to 16,339 of its employees, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The DoL says Disney World also required employees to perform duties before and after their shifts for which they were not compensated. (More Disney World stories.)

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