Disney Faces Lawsuit Over Employee Relocation to Canceled Campus

Disney Faces Lawsuit Over Employee Relocation to Canceled Campus

Two Disney employees have filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging they were forced to relocate from California to Florida for a new campus that was later canceled. Maria De La Cruz and George Fong, both product designers, initiated the legal action on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. They claim that Disney misrepresented the necessity and stability of the relocation to Orlando, leading them to make significant personal sacrifices.

The lawsuit accuses Disney of several misrepresentation-related offenses, including “solicitation of employee by misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation, concealment, and negligent misrepresentation.” According to the complaint, Disney informed De La Cruz and Fong in 2021 that they would need to move from their Glendale, California office to a new billion-dollar campus being developed in Lake Nona, Orlando. The employees were allegedly warned that failure to relocate could result in termination.

Heeding the company’s directive, both De La Cruz and Fong sold their California homes. For Fong, this meant parting with his childhood home. However, in June 2022, Disney postponed the relocation deadline to 2026. By May 2023, under the leadership of returning CEO Bob Iger, Disney canceled the Lake Nona project altogether. This decision was influenced by cost-cutting measures and the company’s ongoing dispute with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

With their jobs still requiring a presence in California, De La Cruz and Fong attempted to move back. However, they found themselves priced out of the housing market they had left, with home prices soaring and mortgage rates rising. Fong ended up purchasing a much smaller home than the one he had sold.

The employees are now seeking damages for the disruption and financial loss they experienced. Disney has not yet responded to the lawsuit or to requests for comment.