NEW YORK (AP) — A former chauffeur to President Donald Trump sued Monday for thousands of hours’ worth of unpaid overtime that the driver says he’s owed.
Noel Cintron sued the tycoon-turned-president’s business, the Trump Organization, in a New York state court. While the suit doesn’t name Trump personally as a defendant, it accuses him of “callousness and cupidity.”
“In an utterly callous display of unwarranted privilege and entitlement and without even a minimal sense of noblesse oblige, President Donald Trump has, through (his business entities), exploited and denied significant wages to his own longstanding personal driver,” the suit says.
The Trump Organization said Cintron was always “paid generously and in accordance with the law.”
“Once the facts come out, we expect to be fully vindicated in court,” the company said in a statement. A representative didn’t answer a question about whether Cintron was still employed there; his suit says he’s now a security staffer.
Cintron was Trump’s driver for 20 years, until the Secret Service took over when Trump became the Republican presidential nominee in 2016, according to the suit.
He didn’t raise the overtime claim until now because he wasn’t fully mindful of his right to it and didn’t want to cause trouble at work, said one of his lawyers, Larry Hutcher.
“He was always concerned about keeping his job. It was something that he did not want to push,” Hutcher said.
As a driver, Cintron started his workday at 7 a.m., finished whenever Trump, his relatives or Trump Organization associates said he could go home, and routinely worked 50- to 55-hour weeks without getting overtime but was eligible for it, the lawsuit says. It says Cintron has made $75,000 a year since 2010, when he got a raise from $68,000 but gave up his health insurance in exchange, so the boost wasn’t “meaningful.”
Before that, his last raise — roughly $5,000 a year — was in 2006, the suit says.
The suit alleges federal and state labor law violations and seeks six years of unpaid overtime — the legal time limit for such claims — plus interest, attorneys’ fees and unspecified damages. His lawyers estimate the overtime alone at over $170,000.