In May, 35 technology employees at Disney/ABC Television in New York and Burbank, CA were told they would be laid off. Adding insult to injury, the employees were also told they would have to train immigrants to do their jobs. The training session, however, didn’t last long. Employees reported the immigrants suddenly stopped reporting to their sessions. Then on June 11, managers in both offices told the Disney employees their layoffs were canceled.
During the meeting, employees were read a statement noting their jobs were continuing and they should behave as though nothing happened until further notice. Although the employees from the New York and California offices were not affected, in January a similar occurrence took place in Disney’s Orlando location when 250 tech workers were laid off and had to train Indian immigrants (who were on work visas) to their jobs in order to receive severance from Disney.
The Indian immigrants were given temporary work visas known as H-1B. These particular type of visa are for immigrants who have specialized skills and find positions where Americans with those same skills are not available to complete the job. With that in mind, the Justice Department plans to examine the H-1B visa program and the Labor Department will inspect outsourcing companies who bring immigrants to do work.
Since their last meeting, tech employees in the New York and Burbank offices have not received any updates on internal changes. Disney executives claim their company reorganization resulted in the Orlando offices layoffs. Though, Disney had to rehire the same employees it laid off.
Would you go back to a company that laid you off under these circumstances? Not sure that we would.