A staffer for billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s now-defunct presidential campaign has filed a federal lawsuit, saying the former New York City mayor promised jobs to more than 1,000 people who worked on it through November, but has instead laid them off.
Donna Wood, a campaign field organizer who filed the lawsuit on Monday (March 23) in the U.S. District Court on behalf of herself and other staff members, claims in the lawsuit that because Bloomberg entered the presidential race last November, which was later than most of the other Democratic candidates, he guaranteed employment through the presidential election in November 2020.
She also claims Bloomberg said that if he did not win the nomination, he would still pay for the staffers to support whoever the nominee was and provide full benefits for them and their families.
Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race March 4 after a poor Super Tuesday showing, coming in far behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. He had considered forming a super-PAC, but wound up committing $18 million to the Democratic National Committee, according to NPR.
“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,” case attorney Sally Abrahamson of Outten & Golden LLP said to NBC News.
“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.”
But a Bloomberg staff spokesperson told The Hill that the campaign “paid its staff wages and benefits that were much more generous than any other campaign this year."
"Staff worked 39 days on average, but they were also given several weeks of severance and health care through March, something no other campaign did this year,” the spokesperson added.
"Given the current crisis, a fund is being created to ensure that all staff receive healthcare through April. “Many field staff will go on to work for the DNC in battleground states, in part because the campaign made the largest monetary transfer to the DNC from a Presidential campaign in history to support the DNC’s organizing efforts.”
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