Disney's plan to cover abortion travel costs for employees was slammed on Saturday as an attempt to influence politics by a Republican candidate in Florida's 9th Congressional District who is also a company employee, the New York Post reports.
Jose Castillo, a resort management worker in Orlando, told the news outlet that Disney's new policy would ''alienate'' customers, and he accused the company of speaking out in the wake of the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade to sway national politics.
In an internal memo following the Friday ruling, Disney pledged to reimburse employees who have to travel to another state for an abortion.
''Disney knew full well that this memo would be leaked and make national news,'' Castillo told the Post.
''They sent it anyway because Disney wants to make a political statement and attempt, once more, to influence our country's political process,'' he said. ''This is yet another attempt by Disney to take a political stance that will inevitably alienate potential customers.''
The company has recently stepped up its political involvement by locking horns with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and the GOP-controlled state Legislature over its opposition to the state's Parental Rights in Education Act.
''As we have seen in recent months, Disney's political activism has hurt the company financially and it is my belief that the Board of Directors is violating its fiduciary duty to shareholders by continuing to comment on divisive political matters,'' Castillo said.
Meta, Lyft, American Express, Starbucks, Bank of America, Apple and Goldman Sachs joined Disney in announcing similar positions after the high court's decision on Friday, according to the Post.
While some in corporate America went for woke optics, others, such as McDonald's, Marriott, PepsiCo, Tyson, Coca-Cola and General Motors chose not to comment, the news outlet reports.
Arkansas-based Walmart — the nation's largest employer — has also kept mum, according to the Post. The company reportedly has stores in several states that have abortion trigger bans that are to take effect.
The companies taking action in the aftermath of the decision are doing so because they feel obligated by both customers and employees, Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, told the Post.
''We're in this moment in time where we're expecting corporate leaders to also be leaders in the political sphere,'' he said. ''A lot of employees expect to work in companies that not only pay them well, but whose values are aligned with theirs.''
Castillo faces Daniel Anthony, Alycia Barnard, Sam Farber, Adianis Morales and Sergio Ortiz in Florida's Aug. 23 GOP primary.
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