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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Disney to furlough non-essential employees starting April 19

Disney to furlough non-essential employees starting April 19
Disney to furlough non-essential employees starting April 19
Posted at 9:39 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 21:39:58-04

The Walt Disney Company plans on furloughing much of its workforce starting April 19 while its theme parks are closed and its productions are on hiatus.

The company said that it has continued paying and providing benefits to its employees despite its theme parks closing last month to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A Disney statement does not indicate how long a furlough might last.

"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," Disney said in a statement. "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."

The value of Disney's stock has dropped nearly 35% from February.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .