Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is offering full-time positions to 427 part-time employees at Walt Disney World in Florida who worked enough hours to qualify for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
The offer was made to staffers who put in more than 1,500 hours in the past year, the threshold at which employers will be required to offer coverage, said Ed Chambers, president of the Service Trades Council, which represents 37,000 at Disney parks in Orlando. Other companies are reducing hours to avoid the mandate.
While Disney’s proposal is good for employees, it presents a dilemma for the six affected unions because some who qualify have less seniority than others in line for full-time jobs, Chambers said. Representatives of the unions, which operate under the Service Trades Council umbrella, are requesting more information from Disney and plan to meet again on Oct. 7.
“Disney wants to be proactive,” Chambers said yesterday in a telephone interview. “Disney is way out in front on this.”
Roughly 27,000 full-time employees at Walt Disney World get health-care benefits that meet the requirements of the act, Chambers said. Part-time workers who don’t qualify for coverage under the act get more limited benefits.