In an unexpected turn of events, President Donald Trump’s former driver is now suing him for years of unpaid overtime over the course of 25 years of employment. Noel Cintron filed a lawsuit in the state of New York to recover payment for approximately 3,300 hours of unpaid overtime and for other financial harm sustained by Cintron while in Trump’s employ. While the statute of limitations precludes Cintron from recovering overtime pay for periods before the past six years, he could stand to recover more than $175,000 in unpaid overtime if his suit is successful.
Incorrect Classification Led to Unpaid Overtime
The main point of contention between Cintron and Trump arises from Cintron’s classification as an exempt employee under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Cintron worked long hours, usually arriving to go on duty at 7 a.m. and finishing when his services were no longer needed for the day. On average, Cintron clocked 55 hours each week. Because he was classified as an exempt employee, however, he was not paid any overtime for these additional hours.
Strict Guidelines for Employers
Under FLSA rules, employees must meet some fairly strict criteria to be classified as exempt and not eligible for overtime, including one or more of the following:
- The employee must manage other staff members, or
- He or she must work independently and make decisions, or
- He or she must be highly educated, or
- The job must involve outside sales
It appears that under these criteria, Cintron was improperly classified as an exempt employee. Another law, however, may create an additional layer of complexity for the upcoming lawsuit.
The Motor Carrier Act
Since Cintron acted as a driver, Trump’s attorneys may use the provisions of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 to negate the FLSA. Under this act, drivers may be exempt from overtime pay requirements if they drive a vehicle that exceeds 10,000 pounds or five tons in weight. It is possible that the size of the vehicle Cintron drove could undermine his case against Trump for overtime pay.
Lake Worth Overtime Lawyer
If you or someone you know needs the services of a qualified Lake Worth overtime lawyer, Michael S. Elstein of the Elstein Law Firm can provide you with expert representation and the best options for your case. As a leading Lake Worth overtime lawyer, Mr. Michael Elstein can determine the most effective approach for your situation and can help you to achieve your goals. Call us today at 561-422-9888 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to helping you find your own path to justice.