Disney World and Darden Restaurants backed the Florida senate in its efforts to draft legislation regarding employee sick days. The legislation blocks local communities from enacting employee rights laws that would provide that community's employees with paid sick days. The legislation indicates that a statewide study needs to happen before local governments take matters into their own hands.
Last November the issue of paid sick days was supposed to be up for a vote, but Disney World and Darden Restaurants fought to keep it off of the ballot. Darden Restaurants, which includes Red Lobster and Olive Garden, has been working with Disney World and the Florida Chamber of Commerce for some time in an effort to keep all Florida employees from being given paid sick days. Back in 2010, Disney World employees complained that they were not being paid a living wage.
Around the same time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration discovered that Disney World had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. As a result, the resort ended up paying over $430,000 in back wages to employees. One of the group's working to get paid sick days for employees attempted to submit a petition to Disney World recently, urging the resort to stop blocking legislation for paid sick days. According to them, the resort would not accept the petition.
When it comes to employee rights, there are always going to be arguments on both sides. Employees are often at the mercy of their employers' policies and procedures unless state and federal laws are passed mandating that companies provide their employees with certain rights. Any employee that feels their rights have been violated may benefit from seeking advice on what to do next.
Source: Huffington Post, "Disney World Fights Against Paid Sick Days For Florida Employees," Harry Bradford, April 27, 2013