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Mike Bloomberg Hit with Lawsuit by Former Staffer Over Layoffs


— March 25, 2020

A former campaign staffer recently sued Mike Bloomberg over layoffs.


Mike Bloomberg is in the hot seat over allegations that he “broke a promise to pay his thousands of campaign workers through November, regardless of whether his 2020 bid was successful.” A class-action lawsuit was filed against the failed presidential candidate earlier this month in New York City. It also accuses Bloomberg of “fraudulently enticing people to join his campaign with promises he did not fulfill and breaching his contract with those employees by laying them off shortly after he ended his campaign on March 4.”

Gavel; image courtesy of bloomsberries, via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0, no changes made.

The primary plaintiff in the suit is Donna Wood. During Bloomberg’s campaign, Wood worked as a field organizer. According to her, many who joined the campaign either resigned or took leaves of absences from the current jobs to take on positions on the Bloomberg campaign. Now, many are “left hunting for jobs — and without health care — during the coronavirus pandemic and as the economy experiences a significant contraction.” The suit states:

“Defendant’s termination of (field organizers) and other campaign employees deprived them of promised income and health care benefits, leaving them and their families potentially uninsured in the face of a global pandemic.”

As a result, the suit is seeking damages for unpaid overtime and for “fraudulent inducement and breach of contract.”

A spokesperson for the campaign pushed back against the allegations and said the “campaign paid its staff wages and benefits that were much more generous than any other campaign this year and that staffers were given several weeks of severance and health care through March.” Additionally, the spokesperson said that “given the coronavirus crisis, a fund is being created to ensure that all staff receives healthcare through April, which no other campaign has done.”

Prior to ending his campaign, Bloomberg attracted campaign workers with “promises of generous pay and benefits and promises of work through November to join his team.” These unusual promises allowed him to build an extensive staff throughout 43 states. He also indicated early on that, “even if he didn’t win the nomination, he would transition his campaign apparatus into an independent entity working to help the Democratic Party defeat President Trump.” However, after his huge defeat on Super Tuesday, he stepped out of the race and laid off the majority of his staff the following day, telling them they were “welcome to reapply to work with the Democratic National Committee in many states.” Some staffers were kept on throughout April, but after that, they will also have to reapply for positions working with the DNC.

Sources:

Former staffer sues Michael Bloomberg over layoffs

Former campaign staffer sues Michael Bloomberg over layoffs, cites fraud

 

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