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Employment law: Disney set to increase worker wages

What constitutes a living wage can be a complicated matter. A certain minimum wage might be sufficient for workers in one part of Wisconsin, while workers in other areas might struggle when earning a similar pay. A group of out-of-state workers recently negotiated a higher minimum wage for low-level employees, and those earning more than the minimum will see their pay go up as well. The outcome from these types of employment law matters can sometimes affect workers in other states, especially if they are employed in the same industry. 

Walt Disney World is well-known for its endless hours of fun, but behind the attractions and princess visits there have been some serious complaints regarding pay. Currently, low-wage employees start out at $10 an hour. However, based on that area's cost of living, this is not enough for most workers to survive. 

There was some uncertainty about the outcome of compensation negotiations earlier in the year after Disney said it would withhold its union workers' tax bonus checks until after they reached an agreement. Many interpreted this as a tool to force already struggling employees to settle and accept less than they were hoping for. Employees are now expected to receive those checks as negotiations between union representatives and Disney are officially over, and the company's lowest wage is set to be raised to $15 per hour by 2021. A separate agreement from earlier this year has pay for California Disney workers set to hit $15.50 by 2020. 

There was initially some concern that Disney violated employment law when it withheld the bonus checks, but it was ultimately decided that its actions were OK. However, answering these questions can be difficult. When Wisconsin workers are dealing with issues regarding compensation and equal pay, consulting with an experienced attorney for clarification on important matters can be helpful. 

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