Trump's longtime driver sues for several years of unpaid overtime

By Jonathan Stempel
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sits in a limousine as he departs jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York man who said he was Donald Trump's personal driver for more than 20 years sued the U.S. president's company on Monday, claiming he was not paid for thousands of hours of overtime.

Noel Cintron said the Trump Organization has not paid him for 3,300 hours of overtime in the last six years, the most he can sue for because of a statute of limitations, and has not given him a "meaningful" raise for 12 years. The Trump Organization confirmed that Cintron was an employee but said he had been paid "generously" and that the company would win in court.

"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," the complaint said.

Cintron is seeking unspecified damages, including punitive damages and other sums for alleged violations of federal and state labour laws. He said the 3,300 hours of overtime alone were worth more than $178,000, at a rate of $54.09 per hour.

“Mr. Cintron was at all times paid generously and in accordance with the law," a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said in an email. "Once the facts come out we expect to be fully vindicated in court."

Donald Trump was not named as a defendant.

Cintron's lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit filed with the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan adds to a long list of litigation targeting the president or his businesses.

Cintron said he worked as a driver for Trump, his family members and his businesses for more than a quarter century, averaging 50 to 55 hours weekly.

He said he became part of Trump's security staff after the Secret Service took over driving responsibilities in 2016.

Cintron said his salary was raised to $68,000 in 2006 and then to $75,000 in 2010, but the latter increase required him to surrender health benefits. He said this saved Trump $17,866 in annual health insurance premiums.The case is Cintron v Trump Organization LLC et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 653424/2018.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Susan Thomas)