Vail Valley: Seminars next week will explain employment law |

Vail Valley: Seminars next week will explain employment law

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado

Longtime Vail Valley employment attorney Peter Rudy will lead a Nov. 16 seminar about the U.S. Department of Labor’s new enforcement of wage-and-hour regulations. The seminar will be held at the Evergreen Lodge in Vail from 9 – 11 a.m. A similar seminar will be held Nov. 18 at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge.

According to a release about the seminar, the biggest employment lawsuits these days are not sexual harassment or wrongful termination. They’re wage and hour enforcement actions and class action lawsuits brought by the government for improper use of independent contractor status and other employment law violations.

Since spring of this year, Department of Labor officials have rolled out a comprehensive plan to deal with wage and hours violations. The reason is simple: money. Federal officials estimate that governments fail to collect more than 30 percent of employee income and Social Security taxes due to “employee misclassification” – which means businesses are calling employees “independent contractors” to avoid taxes. Other employers frequently classify employees as “salaried” or “exempt managers” in an effort to avoid paying overtime. While these violations are hardly new, the focus on enforcement is.

The Department of Labor this spring received funding for 177 more wage and hour investigators. They are targeting what officials say are the most notorious wage and hour violators – the resort industry, restaurants and construction.

Beyond current enforcement efforts, Department of Labor officials recently unveiled a “five year plan” to stamp out worker misclassification.

Several area employers and organizations have joined together to help businesses understand the new enforcement of old laws. East West Resorts, the Gallegos Corporation and High Country Human Resources Association are sponsoring the seminar.

The cost of the workshop is $20 person; $15 if the company is a member of the Human Resources Association.

Rudy has asked that all money collected from the workshop be donated to the Youth Foundation, in memory of Gerald Gallegos.

“When I first began practicing law in Vail twenty years ago, Gerald was instrumental in getting me involved to make sure workers in the valley were treated fairly,” said Rudy. “I want to dedicate these sessions to the memory of this selfless and successful leader that realized his company’s success was built on the foundation of its employees.”

To learn more, e-mail or call 303-406-3709.

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