What Lady Gaga and Donald Trump Have in Common: Misapplying Labor Laws

Donald’s Trump driver and Lady Gaga’s personal assistant were both well paid at $75,000 per year, but they both sued for unpaid overtime. Lady Gaga’s assistant argued that she worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week without receiving overtime pay. Trump’s driver argues that he has 3,300 hours worth of overtime pay that he deserves. Lady Gaga settled out of court with private terms. But, does Trump’s driver have a case? It could come down to the weight of the car.

Employment law is weird

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees are entitled to overtime pay–time and a half–if they work more than 40 hours in a week unless they meet one of the “exemptions.” That’s why we talk about exempt and non-exempt employees.

While the qualifications for exemption can be a bit complex, as a general rule you need to manage other people, have decision making and independent working ability, be in outside sales, or be a highly educated professional. It doesn’t matter whether the employee consents to work on a salary or not–legally the employer has to pay the overtime.

To keep reading, click here: What Lady Gaga and Donald Trump Have in Common: Misapplying Labor Laws

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7 thoughts on “What Lady Gaga and Donald Trump Have in Common: Misapplying Labor Laws

  1. The fact that an employee waits until after a job is over before complaining in no way means that the employee is “OK” or “happy” with the complained-of arrangement. Sometimes, people need the job and don’t want to face retaliation from complaining.

        1. Again, 25 years seems like an awfully long time for it to go on, if they’re that unhappy but fear retaliation for complaining.

    1. And sometimes they know they are making bank so why bite the hand that feeds you?

      The average chauffer made $22k in 2010, when this guy was making $75k.

      The thing is, Trump had just done things correctly, he could have done the calculations to pay $75k but based on an hourly rate including overtime.

      This seems to be a straight-up example of people not understanding that you can’t negotiate your way out of following employment law.

  2. A constant conversation between me and our non-exempt employees over the past 15 years. They all don’t “want” to be paid overtime – I think they want to be like the rest of the staff, and heck – I felt more important when I got my first job with a salary. I just pay them anyway, no matter what the conversation is. Currently my employee is actually getting frustrated with ME about it! Oh well, the pains of doing payroll….

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