August 30, 2018 / 6:49 PM / 24 days ago

Longtime Trump driver's overtime lawsuit moved to private arbitration

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawsuit by a former personal driver for U.S. President Donald Trump who has claimed that Trump’s company failed to pay him for thousands of hours of overtime has been moved from federal court to private arbitration, the man’s lawyer said on Thursday.

The man, Noel Cintron, claimed in his lawsuit last month the Trump Organization had not paid him for 3,300 hours of overtime in the previous six years. He filed a notice in Manhattan federal court on Thursday that he was dropping the lawsuit.

Larry Hutcher, a lawyer for Cintron, said the dispute had been transferred to private arbitration but did not comment further.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company said in a statement last month that Cintron “was at all times paid generously and in accordance with the law.”

Trump was not a defendant in the lawsuit.

Cintron’s lawsuit had claimed that the unpaid overtime totaled $178,000, at $54.09 per hour, and could have been higher but for a statute of limitations. Cintron sought damages that his lawyer said at the time could reach $400,000.

Cintron said he drove for Trump, his family members and his businesses for more than a quarter century, averaging 50 to 55 hours weekly, until the Secret Service took over driving responsibilities in 2016.

He 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. Cintron said this saved Trump $17,866 in annual health insurance premiums.

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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