A group of employees who filed a class action suit against the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, has reached a settlement with the club. The suit encompassed claims by 913 current and former employees regarding a number of employment violations. The settlement, which was reached after more than four years and four mediation sessions, awards $475,000 to the plaintiffs.
The allegations of the employees, who worked for the club between December 2004 and February 2013, largely involved not being allowed to take meal and rest breaks, and not being paid for the time. One of the lead plaintiffs, who worked as a valet at the club, said that he was suspended twice for insisting that he be allowed to take meal breaks. He originally sued Trump National in March 2009.
Another lead plaintiff who was a restaurant hostess at the club alleged that she was fired in retaliation for complaining about age discrimination as well as meal and rest break violations. The hostess said that she had been told that she could not be on duty while Donald Trump was at the club because he wanted to see younger employees. She originally filed a lawsuit in December 2008. The hostess said that although she was fired from her job, she was told to sign a letter of resignation saying that she was leaving of her own volition. She refused to do that.
What may seem like small things to employers, like telling employees to skip breaks or lunch hours, can quickly create an unhappy environment filled with disgruntled workers. While one employee may not want or be able to make a case against an employer, if enough employees have the same complaints, they can take action, and be successful against an employer — even one as powerful as Donald Trump.
The Daily Breeze, “Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes settles $475K employment claims” Bill Hetherman, City News Service, Aug. 28, 2013