ORLANDO, Fla. (NEWSnet/AP) — Disney workers have filed a lawsuit claiming they were induced fraudulently to move from California to Florida.

In July 2021, the Disney Parks’ chief told about 2,000 workers in California in digital technology, finance and product development that they would be transferred to a new campus in Orland. The goal was to consolidate teams and to allow for more effective collaboration. 

Many were reluctant to move, given their ties to Southern California and unease of uprooting families. But Disney encouraged the move by promising a state-of-the-art, centralized workplace and greater affordability in  Florida, according to the class action lawsuit.

A group of workers who had decided to relocate, including the lead plaintiffs, Maria De La Cruz and George Fong, sold their California homes with the understanding the company expected them to relocate, and they purchased homes in central Florida, the lawsuit says.

In May 2023, Disney told its workers the Orlando plan was canceled and workers who had moved to Florida could return to California if they chose.

According to the lawsuit, many workers were worried about job security if they didn’t return to California since most of their team members were still there and the company lacked facilities in Florida to accommodate the teams.

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