"Tour company not exempt from paying minimum wage, judge rules"

Daily Journal, April 30, 2013 

By Laura Hautala

U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen precluded a key affirmative defense last week in a wage-and-hour lawsuit against Adventures Rolling Cross Country, a tour company that sends groups of teenagers on chaperoned trips to Europe and Latin America.

After two tour leaders filed a putative class action claiming they were not paid minimum wage, the company argued it should receive state and federal "organized camp" exemptions, which allow some summer camps to pay employees below minimum wage.

But Chen ruled Wednesday that the exemption didn't apply to the defendant.

Bryan J. Schwartz, an employment attorney in Oakland, represents the tour leaders, and Reid Schaper of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP represents the defendants.