Workers sue Disney after moving to Florida for scrapped project – Washington Examiner

Two Disney employees, Maria De⁣ La ​Cruz ‌and George Fong, are suing the company following financial⁣ losses due to home sales. They​ had moved to Florida from Los Angeles after Disney announced a new ‍office there, which⁣ was later cancelled. This led to substantial financial hardships when they moved back to Los Angeles. Maria De La Cruz and George Fong, two employees of Disney, are pursuing legal action against the company due to significant financial losses they encountered related ‍to home sales. This ‌situation arose after Disney ⁤decided to establish a ​new office in Florida, prompting​ the employees to relocate from Los Angeles to Florida in anticipation of their new roles. ⁤However, Disney ⁤later cancelled ⁢the plans for the new Florida office, which resulted in financial difficulties for these employees who had already invested in housing in⁤ Florida.

Forced to move⁤ back to Los Angeles, De ‌La Cruz ⁢and Fong faced substantial financial losses⁤ upon selling their homes in Florida, likely‍ incurring losses linked to a downturn in the real estate market or related to the quick turnaround of buying and then selling their⁣ properties. This has led them to file a lawsuit against Disney, claiming that the‍ company’s actions⁣ and the subsequent reversal of plans led directly to their financial hardships.

The case‌ underlines the potential ​risks and ​consequences of corporate⁣ relocations‌ and‍ cancellations, affecting employees who ​make life-altering decisions based on their employment. For De ​La Cruz and Fong, the ‌lawsuit is likely seen as a way to recover some of their losses and hold the⁣ company accountable for the upheaval in their ⁣lives.


Two Disney employees are suing the company after they allegedly incurred significant losses when they sold their recently purchased homes in Florida to return to Los Angeles once the company announced it was scrapping its plans to open an office in Orlando’s Lake Nona community.

In 2021, Disney asked the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, Maria De La Cruz and George Fong, members of a Walt Disney Company product design team, along with 2,000 other employees in the company’s parks and resorts division based in Southern California to relocate to Florida. The new office would be opened by 2023, employees were told.

“In sum, employees were incentivized to move through a combination of reward and punishment,” the lawsuit alleges. “An employee could choose to move to a better life in Florida, or alternatively, choose not to move and be terminated by Disney.”

According to Jason Lohr, an attorney for Fong and De La Cruz, this prompted many employees to resign, but 250 employees, including Fong and De La Cruz, decided to relocate to Florida.

For Fong, it meant having to sell his childhood, but Disney had promised affordable housing, great schools, and a new office with extensive amenities. By 2022, Fong and De La Cruz had sold their homes in California and settled into the community of Lake Nona. The same month Fong and De La Cruz bought their houses, Disney told them the project was being delayed until 2026. However, in May 2023, Disney announced it was scrapping the $1 billion project after fighting with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) over LGBT ideology.

Fong and De La Cruz were told they could either stay in Florida or move back to California — both decided to return to California in fear that they would be let go if they stayed. However, with news of Disney’s office project failing, the housing values had begun to drop, and they struggled to sell their homes. Meanwhile, prices in the California housing market increased, so they incurred losses to return there for job security.

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​​“Disney upended 250 families for no reason whatsoever, without fully compensating these individuals for the significant losses relating to the unnecessary move,” Jason Lohr, an attorney for Fong and De La Cruz, said in a statement to the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, a Disney representative told Fong and De La Cruz in an email, “We truly regret the disruption you’ve all faced due to this initiative.”



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