International desk: President Donald Trump’s longtime personal driver Noel Cintron on Monday accused the Trump Organization of not paying him for “thousands of hours of overtime” to which he was legally entitled during his more than two decades of service.
“In an utterly callous display of unwarranted privilege and entitlement and without even a minimal sense of noblesse oblige President Donald Trump has, through defendant entities, exploited and denied significant wages to his own longstanding personal driver,” says the lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court in New York City.
The suit says Cintron worked an average of 50 to 55 hours per week for Trump for more than 25 years, CNBC reports.
During that time, the suit alleges, Cintron received a base salary but was never paid — as legally required — overtime pay at a rate of 1½ times his regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
Cintron’s suit, which names only the Trump Organization and Trump Tower Commercial LLC as defendants, also said “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.”
In fact, the suit says that when Cintron — who still works for the Trump Organization — received a “purported” raise of $7,000 per year in 2010, it was more than eaten up by the loss of his health insurance benefits that same year.
And it says Trump failed to reimburse Cintron for “accrued vacation time, accrued sick days, and his expenses while performing his job duties.”
The suit says that under the law, due to the statute of limitations, Cintron can only make a claim for unpaid overtime for the past six years.
The complaint says he worked about 550 hours of uncompensated overtime per year for those six years, totaling about 3,330 hours of overtime. At Cintron’s current pay rate, that would mean he would be owed $178,487 in back pay.
In addition to back overtime with interest, Cintron’s suit is asking for almost $40,000 in statutory penalties.A Trump Organization spokesman said, in an emailed statement, “Mr. Cintron was at all times paid generously and in accordance with the law. Once the facts come out we expect to be fully vindicated in court.”
The White House had no immediate comment.
Cintron was Trump’s personal driver for more than 25 years until the Secret Service began handling that task when Trump was running for president. He also has chauffeured members of Trump’s family and other business executives, the suit says.
“It’s truly disgraceful that Trump’s longstanding and faithful employee had to resort to litigation to address the fact that he is being exploited and denied his fair wages,” said Cintron’s attorney, Larry Hutcher. “However, this type of conduct is shameful from the president who claims to represent the working people of our great nation.”
The suit accuses the defendants of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and multiple violations of New York State labor law.
The suit says that during his tenure at the Trump Organization, Cintron regularly worked five days per week from about 7 a.m. “to whenever Donald Trump, his family or business associates no longer required” Cintron’s services.
In 2003 or so, the suit says, Cintron was being payed “a fixed salary of $62,700.”
That was bumped up to $68,000 per year in late 2006, according to the complaint.
Then, in December 2010, “Trump purported to increase Plaintiff’s annual salary by $7,000, to a total of $75,000 per year,” the suit says.
“The word ‘purported’ is used in the immediately preceding paragraph because this $7,000 increase was granted solely because Plaintiff was induced to surrender his health benefits obtained through Trump, saving Trump approximately $17,866.08 per year in health insurance premiums,” according to the complaint.
Cintron “has not received any raises since then,” the suit adds.
Based on his current hourly rate as of today, or $36.0577 per hour, Cintron should have been paid $54.087 per hour for any time worked beyond 40 hours per week, according to the complaint.
Assuming a work week of 50 hours, the suit says, Cintron should have received $540.87 in overtime pay per week on top of his regular weekly pay.