Employees don’t have final paychecks
May 8, 2009
Deer Valley Lodging terminated about 100 employees on Thursday and some of them are complaining the company has violated state labor laws.
A message was sent on April 30 after about 100 employees were placed on 30-day business leave announcing a cancellation of accrued, unused vacation pay, sick leave and personal time.
Premier Resorts International spokesman Bobby Foster confirmed on Friday that the change of policy ceased all benefits, even those accrued before that day.
"There’ll be no carry over," he said.
According to Brent Asay, wage claim unit manager for the Utah Labor Commission, who was interviewed on Thursday, in a hypothetical situation a company may not reverse its policy on paying out accrued vacation pay upon termination of employees. It may only change its policy moving forward. Any benefits owed under the terms of initial employment up to the time of the change of policy are owed.
Deer Valley Lodging also appears to be violating state law on its timing of paying out these and other payments to the terminated employees.
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A letter sent on May 7 to those employees on 30-day business leave announced that effective that Thursday they were officially terminated.
State law requires all final payments to be given to terminated employees within 24 hours, Asay said.
The letter from Deer Valley Lodging announced that it could not pay employees at that time and requested patience. A waiver was enclosed with the letter requesting permission to mail people their owed checks when the money became available.
Foster said the company is actively collecting on outstanding amounts owed by visiting groups since January. There are also unpaid amounts for services rendered to homeowner associations. As the company collects those payments, it is prioritizing payment to terminated staff, he said.
The company has already settled some of the owed payments to employees and the process is ongoing, he said.
Deer Valley Lodging also predicted it could respond to the petition for involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy by this week. Foster said that it cannot, but will respond within the allotted time allowed by law.
The Utah Labor Commission was closed Friday so follow-up questions regarding the situation could not made.