Report: Trump Refused to Pay Hundreds of Contractors and Employees

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

USA Today dropped another bombshell today.

USA previously reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been named or involved in over 3,500 lawsuits, but now they've taken a closer look at some of those lawsuits.

Over several decades and as recently as last month, many of those lawsuits involved claims of unpaid labor and bills. And the lawsuits aren't even the whole story.

In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens – filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work – since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.

USA Today made it clear that these incidents are ongoing.

Just last month, Trump Miami Resort Management LLC settled with 48 servers at his Miami golf resort over failing to pay overtime for a special event. The settlements averaged about $800 for each worker and as high as $3,000 for one, according to court records. Some workers put in 20-hour days over the 10-day Passover event at Trump National Doral Miami, the lawsuit contends. Trump’s team initially argued a contractor hired the workers, and he wasn’t responsible, and counter-sued the contractor demanding payment.

As you probably recall, Trump vowed to Make Golf Great Again after blasting the PGA tournament last week for pulling out of his Miami resort. At the time I quipped that it was all about money for him, but I may have been more right than I presumed.

That's just one story among many others illustrated in this USA Today probe. Trump's own lawyers have sued him several times, including one law firm that fought against workers who sued Trump for unpaid wages. The firm represented Trump and then he stiffed them.

One law firm that fought contractors over payments and other issues for Trump — New York City’s Morrison Cohen LLP — ended up on the other side of a similar battle with the mogul in 2008. Trump didn’t like that its lawyers were using his name in press releases touting its representation of Trump in a lawsuit against a construction contractor that Trump claimed overcharged him for work on a luxury golf club.

This is only the beginning. The pile of opposition research on Trump could be bottomless. Mitt Romney could end up looking like a paragon of business ethics compared to Trump.

The report from USA Today is very long but worth the read for future reference.

  • Christopher Foxx

    USA previously reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been named or involved in over 3,500 lawsuits, but now they’ve taken a closer look at some of those lawsuits.

    Is the US press actually vetting the candidates? When did that start happening?

  • mnpollio

    What an all-around despicable human being, but I cannot say that any of this is a surprise from him. The question now will be how many working class/blue collar and middle class Americans will twist themselves into pretzels to rationalize their support/vote for him. Will his crappy attitude about paying and cheating his employees outweigh the bigotry that he proudly exclaims that plays so well with so many of them? I can hear the mental wheels turning now: He may want to cheat us, but darn he hates immigrants and wants to “make ‘Murica great again”. What a dilemma for them, but then too many middle class and blue collar citizens have turned it into a cottage industry of voting against their own interests.

  • This doesn’t surprise me at all. He doesn’t like to pay workers or even acknowledge their existencein foreign countries. If you haven’t seen the Vice segment on Trump’s use of workers in Dubai, you really should ( They are basically trapped there, their passports taken away, their wages much lowered than was promised and the living conditions terrible. They can’t leave because the entire government there is corrupt. They are basically slaves. And Trump seems to be A-Okay with it. Why this isn’t ALL over the effing news, I don’t understand.

  • ninjaf

    Blue collar folks won’t cotton to not paying wages. We’ll see if it matters or if his supporters are so unhinged they will excuse it away.

  • Draxiar

    Having worked in construction for a substantial amount of years I can tell you that owners are constantly trying to fuck contractors out of money. This is done in the hopes that the contractors will take something over nothing so they can pay less than what was agreed to (hrm…where have we heard this before?). The contractors get screwed and the owners get far more than what was paid for (contractors can’t uninstall least I’ve not seen it ever happen). This money game occurs more often than it doesn’t. How is this not theft? Because it’s a contract and if there’s a dispute it goes to litigation or settlement. Drumpf has probably used this tactic on every single project…hence 3500 lawsuits.

  • muselet

    Golly, it’s almost as if there’s a pattern of misbehavior there.


    • In the spirit of disingenuous declarations…

  • Victor the Crab

    I expect John Oliver to cover this big time in the next Last Week Tonight.

  • Aynwrong

    I can’t wait for all of this to get rolled out against Drumpf in the general. He needs to be asked over and over and over:

    “Is this the kind of managerial skill we can expect you to bring to a Trump Administration? Is this how you’re going to improve the Veterans Administration?”

    Just bury him under a mountain of his own bullshit. Can’t wait!

    • Christopher Foxx

      It certainly seems like an obvious and simple approach. Keep pounding Trump with basic questions on his record while running commercials of prominent Republicans saying how unfit for office Trump is.

      I wonder the the Democrats will actually do it.

  • gescove

    Trump is right. He has is a big dick.