Teen Service and Adventure Provider Settles Class Action
January 23, 2014, San Francisco – Trip Leaders for a teen community service, adventure and travel provider based in Marin County, California, have settled their wage and hour, class action lawsuit against the company and its principal owner. The settlement received final approval by Judge Edward M. Chen of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco today.
Adventures Rolling Cross-Country (“ARCC”) has reclassified all Trip Leaders as non-exempt from California and federal wage laws and they are now compensated at minimum wage and overtime for all hours worked in the United States. Although most Trip Leaders led programs internationally, the majority did receive extensive training domestically, and some Trip Leaders led U.S.-based trips as well.
Also as a result of the suit, former Trip Leaders will be compensated for their wage claims from a settlement fund of $500,000.
The Court had previously granted preliminary approval of the settlement and directed that class members receive notice of the settlement terms. Notices which included projected payment amounts and a description of how to file an objection to the agreement were sent to all class members. Over 85% of class members opted to join in the suit, and the average recovery per class member is nearly $800 – more than half of what most Trip Leaders were paid for the trips they led. No one objected to the settlement.
ARCC President Scott von Eschen stated: "At ARCC, we always felt that we were a summer camp and compensated our leaders accordingly. When the Court ruled that our domestic training and U.S.-based programs fell under more traditional wage and hour regulations, we immediately adjusted our pay practices. Our leaders are incredibly loyal to ARCC, which is why many of them return to work with us year after year, and I'm delighted that they will get to participate in this settlement."
“Resolving these claims now, in this manner, will ensure that Trip Leaders get paid a significant amount soon, rather that fighting for years in risky litigation,” said Class Counsel, Bryan Schwartz. “Our objective was always to get fair compensation for our clients and the other Trip Leaders and have the company reform its practices. We have achieved those results with this settlement.”
The case is Wright et al. v. Adventures Rolling Cross Country et al., 12-cv-982-EMC (N.D. Cal.). Peter Wright and Michelle Trame are the class representatives. Bryan Schwartz Law and Rudy Exelrod Zieff and Lowe represent the class.