Bloomberg sued by aides for stiffing them on yearlong pay promise

The lawsuit filed by the three former Georgia, Utah, and Washington state workers, which was also filed with the New York City Federal Court, says the local organizers were fraudulently motivated to take jobs with the Bloomberg campaign based on the Promise guaranteed salaries until November. The ex-field workers who filed the lawsuit, Alexis Sklair, Nathaniel Brown and Sterling Rettke, are represented by Peter Romer-Friedman from Gupta Wessler PLLC and Ilann M. Maazel and David Berman from Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP.

Bloomberg cleaned up all of these workers in six battlefield countries on Friday and guaranteed that they would not be paid until the first week of April, with their benefits ending at the end of this month. The first major round of layoffs in the rest of the country took place earlier this month. Payment continued until March 31st.

Bloomberg’s recruiting materials, described as headquartered, promised to work with “Team Bloomberg” in November, regardless of whether he became a Democratic candidate, provided the country’s volunteers were ready to move. The Bloomberg team reiterated its plans to follow the first round of layoffs, if only in spirit, as top campaign advisors in emails and conference calls by employees stating that priority would be given to them on a planned Bloomberg Super PAC.

Instead, Bloomberg announced on Friday that it had decided to transfer $ 18 million of its own money to the Democratic National Committee to help alleged candidate Joe Biden. The campaign urged former field organizers to apply for a job with the party as part of their “competitive process” without guarantee.

“The Bloomberg campaign hiring managers understood that prospective field workers like the plaintiffs are motivated to work for Mike Bloomberg 2020 because they are interested in the general election to defeat Donald Trump,” the lawsuit said.

“Accordingly, Mike Bloomberg 2020 HR managers have specifically promised Mike Bloomberg 2020 sales representatives that they will be hired by Mike Bloomberg 2020 to work on the primary campaign to elect Michael Bloomberg as a Democratic candidate and in the general election, regardless of whether Bloomberg won the nomination, and said that the Bloomberg campaign will remain open and will fund its field offices through the general election. ”

Bloomberg employees were also informed that the field offices in the battlefield countries would remain open. The lawsuit points out that the layoffs are “at a uniquely precarious time in the nation’s history.”

Bloomberg spokesmen did not immediately comment on the lawsuit. However, a statement released on Friday said the DNC’s coordinated campaign would end in the six battlefield countries. “And we will support the DNC as much as possible by giving names of employees and working to help them on board and expand their program as appropriate,” said the spokesman.

The lawyer for one of the groups of litigants said in a statement that “while our customers want to publicly share their experiences, they may be subject to a confidentiality and non-degradation agreement with Mike Bloomberg 2020. We respectfully promote our customers and the Bloomberg campaign free the other sales representatives from this agreement, even if it may not be enforceable. “

Lawyers who are not working on the cases said that such class actions are often combined.

The Bloomberg field organizers were among the most compensated in the election cycle, enjoying generous health benefits and $ 5,000 in moving expenses.
Although it is believed that all of the local organizers have signed contracts with the campaign at will, they argue in the lawsuit that they can make these claims based on evidence that they were prompted to sign them based on the longevity promises they made.

The promise of sustainable payment months after the end of a campaign is extremely rare in politics. In more than a dozen interviews with POLITICO, the former employees said that this was the key to their decision to join. Bloomberg quickly gathered thousands of employees after its launch in November and ended its campaign after a poor performance on Super Tuesday.

Since the news of her dismissal, numerous former Bloomberg employees have organized online to prepare for legal action. They have set up several chat and email groups to share their experiences. Many are deeply frustrated that they will lose their salary and health benefits in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Aside from the lawsuit filed on Monday, it is believed that other claims exist from other groups of former employees.

The lawsuit says Sklair has moved from Charleston, S.C. to Savannah, Ga. To work as a field organizer for Bloomberg. Before joining the Bloomberg campaign, she was the organizer of Cory Booker’s presidential campaign.

By the time Sklair accepted the Bloomberg job, she was being offered a position in a Senate campaign in South Carolina that would likely have taken place during the general election. After accepting the Bloomberg job, she declined to continue.

Brown worked as an organizer for Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign and moved from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, Utah in January to work for Bloomberg. He said he had canceled the advanced stages of the recruitment process for a job as an organizer at the Committee on Democratic Congress Campaigns.

Rettke postponed the application to study law to work on Bloomberg’s offer.

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