A set decorator on the Shanghai Disney resort filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, alleging she was fired because she needed to take time off to care for her ailing father.
The suit, filed by Angela Devore, accuses Disney of violating the federal Family Medical Leave Act. Devore alleges that her supervisors were hostile when she broached the idea of taking time off to take care of her father.
According to the suit, her supervisor, Bethann Brody, told her, “This company doesn’t care about you or your family.”
Brody also asked, “Isn’t there a state-run home in Maryland you can put him in?,” the suit alleges.
Devore began working for Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development in May 2014. In the fall of 2015, she was informed that she would have to travel to Shanghai in January 2016 and work there for about nine weeks, according to the suit. Devore told her managers that she would need to return to the U.S. in February 2016 to care for her father, before returning to Shanghai.
According to the suit, Devore got mixed signals about whether the leave would be approved. At one point, a supervisor told her she would have to go for the full nine weeks or not at all, and suggested that she keep tabs on her father remotely. “There’s internet in China, you can manage things that way,” she was told, according to the suit.
Ultimately, she says her request was approved. But just before she was to leave for China, she says her supervisors called her in for a meeting and fired her.
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.