Should ski resort workers be paid for commuting on the lift to their working location? According to one individual who works for Aspen Skiing Co., that should be the case.

The Aspen Daily News reports that Craig Stout is suing Aspen SkiCo. over alleged false promises over their wage policies and perks. Craig worked at several on-mountain restaurants across Aspen Snowmass’ four mountains. They are arguing that Aspen Skico. violated the Colorado Wage Claim Act, Colorado Minimum Wage Act, and the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. In addition, he is accusing them of breach of contract and civil theft.

One of the key issues that the lawsuit brings up is that time commuted up and down the chairlift, snowmobile, or snowcat doesn’t count as work, even though they had to bring items like trash cans and trash with them:

“(Stout) and those similarly situated do not clock in for work until they reach these on-mountain facilities and are required to clock-out before leaving these on-mountain facilities. (Stout) and those similarly situated are therefore not compensated for time traveling to on-mountain facilities from the base areas and from these on-mountain facilities to the base areas.” 

The lawsuit also claims that workers didn’t get to use the ten-minute break time every four hours, which is what the state of Colorado requires employers to do:

“(SkiCo) had no legal justification for its failure to comply and, by failing to properly pay for the missed break time, shorted employees for their time worked, including unpaid minimum wage, unpaid straight time, and unpaid overtime.”

In terms of the perks, the lawsuit alleges that Aspen Skico’s website lists free & discount lift tickets for family and close friends as a worker benefit. The plaintiff found out that this is only for employees who have worked there for two or more years.

The lawsuit will need a judge’s certificate of approval before it can become a class action lawsuit. A public notice would follow, which is when other employees at Aspen Skico. could join.

Aspen Skico. has yet to comment on the lawsuit, as they do not discuss matters regarding active litigation.

Update 7/6/2024: The Aspen Daily News reported in May that the two sides were nearing a settlement.

Image Credits: Vlado Sestan (Featured Image), Joshua Sukoff (Header Image), Jamie Fenn

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