A number of now-laid off staffers, who worked on former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, are suing the media mogul for fraud, claiming they were promised jobs through November, whether Bloomberg stayed in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination or not.
Bloomberg announced late last week that he was shuttering his Super PAC and donating the remainder of the money he’d planned on using to campaign for the Democratic frontunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, directly to the Democratic National Committee.
“While we considered creating our own independent entity to support the nominee and hold the President accountable, this race is too important to have many competing groups with good intentions but that are not coordinated and united in strategy and execution,” the campaign said in a statement. “The dynamics of the race have also fundamentally changed, and it is critically important that we all do everything we can to support our eventual nominee and scale the Democratic Party’s general election efforts.”
As part of the deal, Bloomberg laid off employees in at least six battleground states — employees he’d allegedly promised would be kept on as part of a nationwide effort to oust President Donald Trump — promising to pay them only through April 1st, and provide healthcare benefits only through May 1st.
That left some of those employees, apparently, seeing red. At least two of them have now launched nationwide class action lawsuits, on the part of other former Bloomberg staffers, demanding Bloomberg honor his promise and keep them paid through Election Day.
“The [first] lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York City,” the New York Times reports, “argued that the campaign had breached its contract with the at-will employees, recruiting them to work on Mr. Bloomberg’s bid under false pretenses and failing to pay them necessary overtime.”
“In dismissing the workers eight months earlier than promised, the complaint said, the campaign had ‘deprived them of promised income and health care benefits, leaving them and their families potentially uninsured in the face of a global pandemic,'” according to the outlet.
Another lawsuit, filed the same day, alleges “that as many as 2,000 employees were promised to be paid through the general election before he laid them off,” per Politico. “Plaintiffs in the class action include two organizers who halted the interview process for other jobs to join the Bloomberg campaign, and another former organizer who postponed law school to work on Bloomberg’s 2020 effort.”
“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 first complaint states. “But the promise was false. After Bloomberg lost the Democratic nomination, his campaign unceremoniously dumped thousands of staffers, leaving them with no employment, no income, and no health insurance.”
“And, worse still, the Bloomberg campaign did this during the worst global pandemic since 1918, in the face of a looming economic crisis. Now thousands of people who relied on the Bloomberg campaign’s promise are left to fend for themselves,” it continues.
Bloomberg’s former campaign insists that it’s being “generous” with its former staffers — moreso than any other campaign.