Disney delved into politics again on Friday with a memo reassuring employees that their out-of-state abortion costs would be covered in the light of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, a move that a Florida Disney employee says will “alienate” customers and be another hit on profits.
“Disney knew full well that this memo would be leaked and make national news,” Jose Castillo, an Orlando resort management employee and Florida congressional candidate told the Post.
“They sent it anyway because Disney wants to make a political statement and attempt, once more, to influence our country’s political process,” he said.
Although the children’s entertainment company seemed to take a break from politics after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fl) went after the preferential treatment granted to them under the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, they had been vocal opponents of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill that puts a stop to the sexualization of young children in classrooms.
“This is yet another attempt by Disney to take a political stance that will inevitably alienate potential customers,” Castillo said.
“As we have seen in recent months Disney’s political activism has hurt the company financially and it is my belief that the Board of Directors is violating it’s fiduciary duty to shareholders by continuing to comment on divisive political matters,” he added.
The memo penned by Pascale Thomas, Vice President of Enterprise Benefits and Well-being, and Paul Richardson, Chief Human Resources Officer, was sent internally to employees on Friday.
“Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,” the Disney executives wrote in the memo.
It’s all eligible employees, per internal memo here: pic.twitter.com/me8gvNgKq0
— Matthew Belloni (@MattBelloni) June 24, 2022
“In fact,” the memo continued, “we have processes in place so that an employee who may be unable to access care in one location has affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location.”
“This travel benefit covers medical situations related to cancer treatments, transplants, rare disease treatment and family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions).”
Here is a list of businesses offering to pay for their employees’ out-of-state abortion costs https://t.co/Wvffve1NVT
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) June 25, 2022
University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business professor Maurice Schweitzer said that Disney and other companies taking a political stance on the Supreme Courts decision in Dobbs v Jackson Health Care are doing so because they feel obligated to by their employees and customers.
“We’re in this moment in time where we’re expecting corporate leaders to also be leaders in the political sphere,” Schweizer said. “A lot of employees expect to work in companies that not only pay them well, but whose values are aligned with theirs.”
Schweitzer said it’s a double-edged sword because companies that don’t speak out also risk backlash.
“They can either support travel for out-of-state care and risk lawsuits and the ire of local politicians, or they can not include this coverage and risk the ire of employees,” he added.
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