Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Trip Leaders for Fancy Teen Tours Should Be Paid the Minimum Wage

Bryan Schwartz Law and co-counsel, Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe, issued the following press release this week:

Trip Leaders File Class Action for Unpaid Overtime

Violations Alleged on Behalf of Hundreds of Employees

San Francisco, California, February 21, 2012: A class action lawsuit filed on Friday accuses Adventures Rolling Cross-Country, Inc. (“ARCC”), and its owner, Scott Von Eschen, of Mill Valley, California, of failing to pay basic minimum wages to workers who work chaperoning kids on expensive trips abroad and domestically. The case was filed in Marin County Superior Court. The plaintiffs are Peter Wright and Michelle Trame, and the case is Peter Wright and Michelle Trame v. Adventures Rolling Cross-Country, Inc., et al, case number 1200767.

The lawsuit alleges that Trip Leaders undergo approximately 10 days “training” in Mill Valley, California, typically spending 10 hours per day working. Thereafter they depart for trips ranging from two weeks to 90 days. Plaintiffs, for example, each led a trip lasting 24 days. During the trips, in which they are essentially babysitting a large group of teens, they are on-call 24 hours a day – responsible for the safety of the kids. Trip Leaders actively work anywhere from 12-16 hours a day with little to no time at rest.

Plaintiffs estimate that they, and the class members, worked over 350 hours for ARCC, earning for all of this time only approximately $1,000 (in the case of Peter Wright) – less than $3.00/hour – and approximately $1,080 (in the case of Michelle Trame) – still well under $3.00/hour. These wages are far below state and federal minimum wages and overtime requirements, according to the lawsuit.

The proposed class includes hundreds of current or former Trip Leaders across the country.

“The fact that the for-profit company is providing a nice travel experience for kids is no excuse for exploiting the Trip Leaders.” said David A. Lowe, a partner at Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP, who is representing the Trip Leaders with Bryan Schwartz, of Bryan Schwartz Law. “The Trip Leaders work long hours trying to keep the kids safe and on schedule, and they deserve to be compensated for their work,” according to Schwartz. “This may be a vacation for the kids – but it is anything but relaxing for the Trip Leaders,” he added.

Wright, 26, commented, “Parents ought to know that their children, entrusted to ARCC, which is paid a lot of money to watch them, are being looked-after by Trip Leaders making about a third of the minimum wage.”

The plaintiffs are seeking unpaid minimum and overtime wages and other compensation on behalf of current and former Trip Leaders throughout the country.

Plaintiffs' Attorneys:

Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe is a leading law firm in the field of wage and hour class actions and won the largest overtime verdict in United States history in Bell v. Farmers Insurance Exchange. The firm specializes in representing employees in individual and class action litigation.

Bryan Schwartz Law is an Oakland, California-based law firm dedicated to helping employees protect their rights in the workplace. Bryan Schwartz Law has successfully litigated individual and class action complaints nationwide, helping to recover millions of dollars for thousands of employees, forcing corporations and Government agencies to change their practices and punish wrongdoers.

ARCC employees or former employees who would like to learn more about the case should visit and click on “Class Actions” or contact David Lowe at (415) 394-6078,, or Bryan Schwartz at (510) 444-9300,


  1. Check out this article in the Daily Journal about the case: Daily Journal 2-22-12.pdf

  2. Another article, from the Marin Independent Journal:

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  4. At this point, the scope of the complaint is limited to statutory wage claims relating to the Trip Leaders' work (including pre- and post-trip work) in California or elsewhere in the United States.