A former field organizer for Mike Bloomberg’s Democratic presidential campaign filed a class-action lawsuit against the campaign on Monday, claiming Bloomberg lured her and thousands of other employees into jobs they were falsely told would last until November.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City by Donna Wood, who worked for the former New York City mayor’s campaign in Miami and was laid off on Friday.
Wood alleges in the suit that the Bloomberg campaign breached its contract with employees by laying them off eight months earlier than was promised and failing to pay them overtime. The campaign “deprived them of promised income and health care benefits, leaving them and their families potentially uninsured in the face of a global pandemic,” the suit states.
“People are going from a pretty generous health care benefit to projected 20 to 30 percent unemployment,” said Wood’s attorney Sally Abrahamson.
Bloomberg entered the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination in late November after other candidates had been on the campaign trail for months. The New York billionaire spent more than $900 million on his campaign, including $500 million for political ads, and offered generous pay and benefits to campaign workers.
However, Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race on March 4, a day after his disappointing finish in Super Tuesday primaries. Over the last several weeks, the Bloomberg campaign has fired campaign workers and invited all former staffers to apply to work for the Democratic National Committee, saying staffing for the DNC would draw “in part from our own incredibly experienced and talented organizing staff.”
Bloomberg also announced he will donate $18 million to the DNC instead of putting it towards a new super PAC to aid Democrats in securing the nomination. The former New York mayor had previously promised over the course of his campaign to offer his campaign resources to the eventual Democratic nominee.
The campaign promised “employment through November 2020 with Team Bloomberg,” according to talking points used when interviewing and hiring field organizers. However, contracts signed by the employees stated that employment was in fact at-will and could be terminated at any point and also that campaign staffers were “classified as exempt from the overtime provisions of federal and applicable state laws.”