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A wrongful termination lawsuit brought by a unionized employee of the Trump Corporation who claimed employees of Trump buildings were forced to pay kickbacks to George Gjeli, a federal convict who served as Trump Tower's building superintendent. The case settled, suggesting the allegations were well-founded.

Case Summary

United States Southern District of New York


Ghilduta v Trump Corporation

Date Filed: 9/22/2004

Date Terminated: 2/28/2008

Cause: Labor Violations



Notable Details

The lawsuit, which settled, centered on allegations that Trump employees were forced to pay kickbacks to their supervisor in order to keep their jobs. "Paying kickbacks was also at the center of a wrongful termination lawsuit against Trump and the Local 32BJ labor union, which is associated with the Service Employees International Union, filed in 2004 by a fired elevator operator named Ioan Ghilduta. He alleged Gjieli had forced workers to pay for their positions. “Sure, all the guys pay the money,” Ghilduta said in a 2005 deposition , according to court documents obtained by AP, describing the $1,000 in cash and a gold crucifix he said he was made to give to his boss in 1994. “It was a common practice when you get the job.” [...] The lawsuit was settled shortly after a judge ruled there were issues of fact a jury should hear. Ghilduta walked away with $7,500 apiece from Trump and the union, neither of which admitted wrongdoing." (Associated Press, October 5, 2016