A man who worked as one of Donald Trump's personal chauffeurs for more than 20 years has filed suit against the Trump Organization and associated companies claiming that he was never paid for overtime hours as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and applicable state law. He also says the organization stiffed him on unused sick and vacation pay.
"In an utterly callous display of unwarranted privilege and entitlement and without even a minimal sense of noblesse oblige President Donald Trump has, through the defendant entities, exploited and denied significant wages to his own longstanding personal driver," reads the complaint.
A spokesperson for the Trump Organization -- who insisted upon anonymity -- commented to the Courthouse News Service that the chauffeur "was at all times paid generously and in accordance with the law." He added that, "Once the facts come out we expect to be fully vindicated in court."
The plaintiff drove Donald Trump, his family and business associates for more than two decades before the Secret Service took over the job upon Trump's election as president. The statute of limitations on unpaid overtime, however, is only six years. Therefore, the complaint seeks unpaid overtime for only the past six years.
The amount owed could be substantial. During that six-year period, the New York-based chauffeur's annual salary was $75,000, or approximately $36.06 per hour, before taxes.
The driver estimates that he worked an average of 50 to 55 hours per week, and the FLSA requires all hours over 40 in a single workweek to be paid at 1-1/2 times the employee's regular hourly rate, which works out to about $54.09. He is claiming approximately 3,300 hours of overtime went unpaid, so he is allegedly owed an estimated $178,485. If he can show the failure to pay overtime was willful, the court may award an equal amount as liquidated damages.
If liquidated damages were awarded, the plaintiff could receive some $356,970 in damages for the unpaid overtime. He is also seeking reimbursement for sick and vacation time he wasn't allowed to use, plus certain unreimbursed job-related expenses.
There appears to be some acrimony over the situation. The complaint also details the plaintiff's pay history while working for the Trump Organization, adding "President Trump's further callousness and cupidity is further demonstrated by the fact that while he is purportedly a billionaire, he has not given his personal driver a meaningful raise in over 12 years!"
If you suspect you are not receiving the overtime pay that you are due, ask an employment law attorney to evaluate your situation and determine if you may have a claim.