Lawsuit aims to stop Breckenridge Grand Vacations from classifying salespeople as independent contractors

Former employee is seeking to recover overtime wages and benefits

Grand Colorado on Peak 8 is pictured Nov. 6, 2020. The hotel is owned by Breckenridge Grand Vacations, which is being sued by a former employee.
Photo by Liz Copan / Studio Copan

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that Breckenridge Grand Vacations’ annual sales must be more than $500,000 for the plaintiff to sue in this case.

A lawsuit has been filed against Breckenridge Grand Vacations for how it classifies its salespeople as independent contractors.

On April 30, Arthur McMahon, who was formerly employed as a salesperson with the company, filed a class action complaint and demand for a jury trial. McMahon is challenging Breckenridge Grand Vacations’ practice of classifying its salespeople as independent contractors and is seeking to recover overtime wages and benefits for time worked while employed. He is also hoping to stop the company from classifying its salespeople as independent contractors in the future.

In the complaint, McMahon alleges that the company violated the Colorado Wage Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which Breckenridge Grand Vacations denies.

The complaint document alleges that Breckenridge Grand Vacations requires its salespeople to rent office space from them for $200 per month. The complaint also alleges that the company sets and creates the schedules, generates and provides leads, determines what sales pitches and advertisements are appropriate, dictates what salespeople can wear and sets requirements for meeting length with potential clients.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations denies all of these allegations.

According to the complaint, salespeople at Breckenridge Grand Vacations are hired to pitch and sell timeshares in the county. The document reports that the company does over $500,000 annually in sales, which allows the plaintiff to sue.

As for McMahon, the complaint states that he began working with the company in 1997. In 2011, the document states the company issued a “notice of performance” reprimanding his performance.

In 2013, he reportedly received a memo from then-President Michael Millisor about McMahon’s absence from required training sessions. (Millisor is now co-owner, developer and chief executive officer at the company.) According to the complaint, the memo stated that McMahon’s pay would be docked $100 for six months and that he would lose privileges to the company’s tickets for activities like sporting events and cultural events.

In 2019, the complaint states that John Liner, now the company’s vice president of sales, emailed McMahon of his immediate termination.

The complaint states that during his employment, McMahon was required to stay on-site working for shifts that lasted from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and sometimes until 9 p.m. It also stated that McMahon did not receive overtime for his work because of the company’s classification of its salespeople as independent contractors.

While this is a class action suit, the complaint states that “the exact size of the class is unknown and not available” to McMahon. The document suggests that other class members can be found through Breckenridge Grand Vacations’ employment records.

“I’m simply looking to make sure (Breckenridge Grand Vacations) is in compliance with the law and to make sure salespeople are paid what they’re owed,” McMahon said.

Nick Doran, chief operating officer with Breckenridge Grand Vacations, denies any wrongdoing by the company.

“While we greatly appreciate the relationship we had with Mr. McMahon over the years — he contracted with (Breckenridge Grand Vacations) to provide real estate brokerage services — we believe his lawsuit is misguided and is without merit,” Doran wrote in an email. “Out of respect for the legal process, we will provide no further public comment while the case is pending.”

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