“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 a recent complaint filed in New York against the Trump Organization and associated entities.
The complaint was brought by a man who worked as Donald Trump’s personal chauffeur for more than 20 years until Trump was elected president and the Secret Service took over. He claims that he was paid a straight salary with no overtime even though he worked an average of 50 to 55 hours per week. That violates the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law, the driver claims.
The driver’s lawyer says the man was expected to be ready at a moment’s notice between 7 a.m. and “whenever Donald Trump, his family or business associates no longer required his plaintiff’s services.” Since he was on call all day and could not use any down time for personal reasons, the driver alleges that he should have been paid for every hour between the time he started and stopped work each day.
That includes overtime, which should have been paid at 1-1/2 times his regular hourly rate of pay. The driver is claiming that he worked between 10 and 15 hours of overtime per week for the past six years. He was paid a salary of $75,000, which works out to an hourly rate of approximately $37.50. Assuming that he did not receive any nondiscretionary bonuses or other payments that would need to be considered in his base rate of pay, the driver’s overtime rate of pay would be approximately $56.25 per hour.
The driver says that he worked approximately 3,300 hours of unpaid overtime over the past six years. That adds up to about $185,625. He also claims that the failure to pay overtime was willful on the part of the Trump Organization, meaning that the judge could order the company to pay an equal amount in liquidated damages, in addition to the unpaid overtime, as well as reimbursement for job-related expenses and unused sick or vacation time. The plaintiff is also seeking statutory damages under the New York Labor Law, attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, interest, and punitive damages.
Interestingly, the complaint also details the driver’s pay history under Trump.
“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!”
Through an anonymous spokesperson, the Trump Organization insisted that they paid the plaintiff “generously and in accordance with the law,” adding that “once the facts come out we expect to be fully vindicated in court.”
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