Facing a complete standstill across its entertainment empire due to the coronavirus crisis, the Walt Disney Company notified its employees that it would furlough employees "whose jobs aren't necessary at this time" starting on April 19.
Disney has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic. Its theme parks around the world have shuttered, its cruise line is suspended and many of its biggest films of the year have been delayed. Live sporting events, the lifeblood of the Disney-owned ESPN, have also been suspended.
Shares of Disney have plummeted more than 30% year to date.
The impact is hitting Disney's theme park employees especially hard. All of Disney's 12 theme parks have been shuttered since March 12, after which the company committed to paying salaries through April 18.
In the statement, the company said there was "no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses," and that it was "forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees."
Among those impacted would be the Disney Parks' storied "Imagineers," the designers of the parks, rides and hotels.
The furloughed workers would remain employees of the company and keep their health benefits, while also being able to access federal and state aid like unemployment benefits.