Unpaid overtime is an issue that plagues many workers in California. A lawsuit filed by Donald Trump’s personal driver has brought national attention to this problem. Before the Secret Service took over transporting the new president, the driver chauffeured Trump for over 25 years. The lawsuit from the 59-year-old man claims that his employer, the Trump Organization LLC, owes him for 3,300 hours of overtime.
According to court papers, the driver needed to be on duty by 7 a.m. every day. He could not cease working until he was told that he was no longer needed for the day. His work weeks often ran as long as 55 hours. In 2003, his salary totaled $62,700 and went up to $68,000 in 2006. By 2010, he was earning $75,000, but at that point his employer revoked his health insurance benefits.
The driver’s claim adds to a long list of companies that have sued Trump for underpayment or outright failure to pay. A supply company last year won on appeal a lawsuit for $32,000 worth of paint that one of Trump’s luxury golf courses did not pay for. Other entities that have gone unpaid include landscapers, electricians and mortgage brokers. The Trump Organization in a statement insisted that the driver had been paid in accordance with the law.
A person who wants an employer to observe wage and hour laws might want the assistance of an attorney. Legal support could enable a person to file a formal complaint in court and potentially negotiate a settlement for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. An attorney might also defend a person who suffered retaliation at work after complaining about insufficient pay.
Source: Bloomberg, “Trump’s Personal Driver for 25 Years Sues for Unpaid Overtime“, Christie Smythe, July 9, 2018