Lawsuit from Trump's driver seeks $200,000 in unpaid overtime

The lawsuit filed by President Trump's long-time personal driver illustrates the problems that employees in Tennessee sometimes have getting paid for overtime. Court filings from the 59-year-old man described the Trump Organization's failure to pay him for 3,300 hours of overtime over the course of six years. He wants a settlement of about $200,000.

During his 30 years of employment, his work duties often required him to put in 55-hour weeks. The Trump Organization required that he start at 7 a.m. every day and be available until Trump, his relatives and business associates no longer needed transportation for the day. His salary totaled $62,700 a year until he received a raise in 2006 to $68,000. In 2010, his pay went up to $75,000, but his employer revoked his health benefits, which saved the Trump Organization $17,866 in annual premiums previously paid on his behalf.

Although the Trump Organization maintains that it complied with the law when paying the driver, the organization has a long history of underpaying workers or completely failing to pay contractors. An appeals court ruling against one of Trump's luxury golf courses recently ordered it to pay a paint supply company for $32,000 worth of paint used at the property.

A person who believes that an employer is violating wage and hour laws may want to ask an attorney for advice. An attorney may check to see if the employer has properly classified the person's job as either hourly or exempt to determine how the Fair Labor Standards Act could apply to the position. After evaluating the case, an attorney might recommend filing a lawsuit to collect unpaid overtime or wages that did not meet minimum wage standards.

Source: Bloomberg, "Trump's Personal Driver for 25 Years Sues for Unpaid Overtime", Christie Smythe, July 9, 2018

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