Disney will furlough employees starting April 19, company says

A lock hangs on the center gate between the turnstiles at the entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, on Monday, Mar 16, 2020. The entire Disneyland Resort is shutting down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. ( Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images )

Disney announced on Thursday that they will begin furloughing their employees on April 19 due to the impacts they now face because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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In a statement to FOX 11, a spokesperson for the Walt Disney Company said:

"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our world with untold suffering and loss, and has required all of us to make sacrifices. Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses."

"Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation. However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time."

"The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney, and those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program."

"Additionally, employees with available paid time off can elect to use some or all of it at the start of the furlough period and, once furloughed, they are eligible to receive an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance."

The announcement comes nearly a week after Disney said that its theme parks will remain closed until further notice and would be paying its cast members through April 18.