Since the announcement to be a candidate for office, Donald Trump has angrily blathered ad nausea about America getting ripped off. Whether it’s NATO allies supposedly failing to pay their bills, evil German car makers, or a friendly neighbor with whom we actually have a trade surplus, Trump has painted America (and himself) as the victim of unfair trade practices, inequitable deals, and general assholery. What he’s spoken less about is his own habit of ripping people off, which, to hear his alleged victims tell it, is Trump’s thing the way other people collect stamps or play squash on weekends. In addition to charges that the president used charitable donations to pay off golf debts and acquire portraits of himself, hundreds of liens, lawsuits, and judgements have accused the former real-estate developer of failing to pay people for their work, including dishwashers, plumbers, waiters, bartenders, real-estate brokers, and law firms.
(He also reportedly took his time paying Michael Cohen back the $130,000 his personal lawyer spent to silence porn star Stormy Daniels.) Since 2005, Trump’s companies have been cited 24 times for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage. During a presidential debate in 2016, he basically admitted to failing to fairly compensating workers, saying “I take advantage of the laws of the nation because I’m running a company. My obligation right now is to do well for myself, my family, my employees, for my companies. And that’s what I do.” In other words, I find loopholes to screw people over because I was born a colossal prick and I’ll die a colossal prick. So it probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that Trump allegedly cheated his personal driver out of hundreds of thousands in overtime. But given the guy probably has some interesting stories to tell, it sure is a fun new development!
Bloomberg reports that Noel Cintron, the president’s personal driver for more than 25 years, has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization accusing his former boss of failing to compensate him for about 3,300 hours of overtime pay he’s worked over the past six years. (The number would likely be higher, but Citron can’t sue for prior overtime due to the statute of limitations.) Cintron, who is a registered Republican, said in the complaint that he worked an average of 50 to 55 hours a week for Big Orange, but was never paid overtime for hours worked above 40 per week, as is legally required. According to the filing, Cintron was paid $62,700 in 2003; $68,000 in 2006; and $75,000 in 2010. Though if you thought Trump just got extra generous in 2010, you thought wrong!
Cintron, who is seeking about $200,000 in damages, described Trump’s alleged stiffing as “an utterly callous display of unwarranted privilege and entitlement and without even a minimal sense of noblesse oblige.” In a statement, the Trump Organization insisted “Mr. Cintron was at all times paid generously and in accordance with the law,” and that “once the facts come out we expect to be fully vindicated in court.” Last April, Trump National Doral Miami was ordered to pay a local supply company nearly $300,000 after failing to reimburse it in full for paint used to refresh its lodges in 2014. Also on Monday, Trump tweeted that he has full confidence Kim Jong Un will honor their “contract . . . & even more importantly, our handshake,” which would make a murderous dictator of a hermit kingdom less likely to stiff his associates than the 45th president of the United States.