Former NBA star Chris Bosh refused to pay his driver overtime wages after the basketball player moved to Austin, Texas last summer and expanded the man’s duties to include household chores, according to a lawsuit in federal court in Austin.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by a lawyer for Michael Ray, who followed the Bosh family from California last June when they moved into a nine-bedroom, five-bathroom mansion along the Colorado River in Austin’s Steiner Ranch community.
In the course of the move, Ray says Bosh terminated two people who managed the family’s household in California and appointed Ray to handle the duties that they had filled, such as taking care of the family dogs, assembling furniture and taking out the trash. Ray kept his role as Bosh’s driver and sometimes logged 70 work hours per week, the lawsuit states.
But Bosh refused to pay for hours Ray worked past 40 hours in a week, the lawsuit says. At the time of the move, Bosh had moved Ray from an hourly wage to a fixed salary and believed the new setup exempted the assistant from overtime compensation, the lawsuit states.
Ray complained to Bosh in November and was fired less than three weeks later, according to the lawsuit.
Bosh, who played 13 seasons with the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors, could not be reached for comment Wednesday through the agency that handles his booking requests.
Ray’s lawyer, Daniel B. Ross, said Bosh should have paid the assistant time-and-a-half for every hour he worked past 40 hours.
“Many people believe that when their employer pays them a salary instead of hourly, they don’t have to be paid overtime for working over 40 hours a week,” Ross said. “That isn’t true all the time, and it certainly is not the case with Mr. Ray. An employer cannot legally retaliate against a worker for complaining about not receiving overtime, and celebrities are not above the overtime law. We look forward to a speedy resolution of this case.”
Ray is seeking unpaid wages, reinstatement in his job, and other damages. The lawsuit says he lives in California again.
The lawsuit was filed on the same day Bosh was in Florida where the Miami Heat retired his No. 1 jersey during a halftime ceremony in a game against the Orlando Magic. Part of the team’s Big Three with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade earlier this decade, Bosh helped Miami win two NBA titles and make two other finals.
The 11-time All-Star power forward last played in the league in the 2015-16 season with the Heat when he was sidelined with blood clots for the second straight year.
Bosh, 35, attended high school in Dallas and college for one basketball season at Georgia Tech. He made more than $239 million in NBA earnings.