‘He’s terminating, we believe, over 1,000 people at a time when we believe unemployment is likely going to be 20 or 30 percent, and they’re going to lose their health care…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A former field organizer for billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s failed presidential campaign sued on behalf of herself and several other former staffers who were allegedly promised year-long salaries.
The staffer, Donna Wood, says the former New York City mayor guaranteed “income and health care benefits” through November, but instead they found themselves out of jobs, “leaving them and their families potentially uninsured in the face of a global pandemic,” the lawsuit states, according to Politico.
Bloomberg initially planned to fund his campaign efforts through November regardless of whether he won the Democratic nomination. But he decided to drop out and endorse former Vice President Joe Biden, laying off all of his staff while he was at it.
“The Bloomberg campaign had represented to folks they were going to keep people on through November, regardless of his candidacy, which is one of the reasons we think he attracted such talent,” said Sally Abrahamson, one of the attorneys representing Wood and the other former staffers.
“He’s terminating, we believe, over 1,000 people at a time when we believe unemployment is likely going to be 20 or 30 percent, and they’re going to lose their health care.”
Copies of the original job applications filled out by the former staffers confirm that Bloomberg’s team did promise “employment through November 2020.” Because this promise was not kept, Wood and the other staffers are alleging fraudulent inducement and breach of contract, as well as unpaid overtime compensation.
“Thousands of people relied on that promise. They moved to other cities. They gave up school, jobs, and job opportunities. They uprooted their lives,” the lawsuit stated.
“But the promise was false,” it continued. “After Bloomberg lost the Democratic nomination, his campaign unceremoniously dumped thousands of staffers, leaving them with no employment, no income, and no health insurance.”
Adding insult to injury was the timing, said the plaintiffs.
“Bloomberg campaign did this during the worst global pandemic since 1918, in the face of a looming economic crisis,” it said. “Now thousands of people who relied on the Bloomberg campaign’s promise are left to fend for themselves.”
Bloomberg’s campaign said that it is working to create a “fund” to make sure all staff receive healthcare through April, “which no other campaign has done.”
“This campaign paid its staff wages and benefits that were much more generous than any other campaign this year,” a Bloomberg campaign spokesperson said.