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Trump's ex-chauffeur sues in New York for unpaid wages

[NEW YORK] US President Donald Trump's ex personal chauffeur on Monday sued the Trump Organization for years of unpaid overtime, claiming he was exploited and denied a meaningful raise for more than a decade.

It is the latest of many lawsuits against Mr Trump or his businesses.

Noel Cintron, who served as driver for Mr Trump, his family and businesses for more than 25 years, was replaced by the Secret Service when his boss won the Republican nomination for president in 2016. He then joined the security staff.

The New York lawsuit, dated Monday, is seeking to recover more than 3,000 hours in overtime, penalties, damages and lawyers' fees for the "harm" Mr Cintron suffered while on the Trump company payroll.

"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 14-page lawsuit states.

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While Mr Trump is "purportedly a billionaire, he has not given his personal driver a meaningful raise in over 12 years!" it alleged.

The Trump Organization, the umbrella company which is being run by the president's adult sons Donald Jr and Eric while their father is in office, said Mr Cintron was "at all times paid generously and in accordance with the law.

"Once the facts come out we expect to be fully vindicated in court," a spokeswoman for the company said.

The plaintiff generally worked five days a week from 7.00am to whenever he was no longer needed, on average 50-55 hours a week, according to the suit.

In December 2010, he was given a US$7,000 raise to US$75,000 a year, but only after losing his health benefits, saving his employer nearly US$18,000 a year in insurance premiums, according to the lawsuit.

He never got another raise, and Mr Trump failed to reimburse him for accrued vacation time and sick days, and work expenses, the complaint says.

Mr Cintron, it says, was not paid overtime for more than 20 years, but under the statute of limitations can only claim six years' worth, which the lawsuit put at a total of 3,300 hours owed at "time and one-half."

Mr Cintron's legal team told AFP they were seeking US$178,487.10 in unpaid wages as well as interest, attorneys' fees, and potential punitive damages.

Among other legal actions against Mr Trump, lawyers for the US State of Maryland and the capital Washington have separately accused Mr Trump, in a lawsuit, of accepting illegal payments through the Trump International Hotel.

Porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, also filed a lawsuit against the US president in April for defamation.


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