BUSINESS

Disney World Fights Against Paid Sick Days For Florida Employees

04/27/2013 01:59 pm ET | Updated Apr 27, 2013
AP

Pressure from Disney World has influenced the Florida Senate to take a big step back in guaranteeing paid sick days for workers.

The Florida Senate voted Friday to prevent local communities their enacting their own wage and benefits laws until a statewide study can be conducted, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

The bill, which would at least delay efforts to guarantee all workers paid sick days was drafted with the support of Disney World and Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, as well as the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

"Today, Republicans in the Florida Senate stood up for corporations like Disney and Darden and against the interests of families who believe their own communities know what is best for them," Stephanie Porta, an advocate for those seeking paid-sick days, said in a statement.

Family organization MomsRising.org is spearheading efforts to fight back. The group claims that this week, Disney World refused to accept a petition with 6,000 signatures demanding that the resort stop pushing legislation that stands in the way of earned sick time initiatives.

Neither Darden nor Disney World responded to voicemails from The Huffington Post requesting comment. MomsRising also was not available for comment.

The move is the latest in a drawn-out battle. Disney World and Darden worked to keep a measure requiring paid sick days off the ballot last November. Workers also have complained that the resort does not pay a living wage, Reuters reported in 2010. That same year, Disney agreed to pay $433,819 to employees in back wages after an investigation uncovered the resort had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to Occupational Health and Safety.

Battles over wages are being fought elsewhere. This week low-wage workers in Chicago went on strike to demand fair pay. Meanwhile, New York City workers are hopeful a bill will soon be passed requiring all businesses to allow workers paid sick days, The Huffington Post reports.

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