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Outsourced Former Disney Employees Sue

Thirty former Disney IT employees have filed a federal lawsuit alleging national origin and race discrimination.

In October 2014, Disney IT employees were informed that the company intended to incorporate offshore outsourcing firms. Soon after that announcement, these employees noticed a sizable increase in the number of South Asian foreign workers around their Disney campus. The Disney IT employees were directed to train these new employees and were purportedly threatened with no severance if they refused. These replacement employees worked both remotely and through H-1B visas. By January 2015, approximately 250 Disney IT employees were laid off. The individuals laid off were from multiple races; however, all of the new employees were allegedly from South Asia. It is alleged that the employees were laid off  “based solely on their national origin and race, replacing them with Indian nationals.”

Disney has responded to the suit: “Like the two other dismissed cases brought by this lawyer, this latest lawsuit is nonsense and we will defend it vigorously.” In the filings, the employees refer to Disney’s CEO Robert Iger who called the decision to engage in replacement training “insulting” to the employees. He defended the right to outsource, arguing that it would create more jobs and would allow Disney to upgrade its technology. Mr. Iger was recently appointed by Donald Trump to help the soon-to-be President “bring back jobs and make America great again.” H1-B visas have been linked to the outsourcing of American jobs by the President-elect.