- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The blows keep coming for former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s failed presidential campaign.

A former Bloomberg campaign worker filed a class-action lawsuit against the campaign for allegedly getting rid of more than 1,000 workers who Mr. Bloomberg promised to employ through the 2020 election regardless of his campaign’s outcome.

The lawsuit, brought by lawyers from the Shavitz Law Group and Outten & Golden, claims Mike Bloomberg 2020, Inc. violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Employees have been damaged by losing their jobs with Bloomberg approximately eight months early, losing their income, and losing their healthcare,” the lawsuit argues. “Bloomberg’s conduct amounts to such gross, wanton or willful fraud, dishonest and intentional non-disclosure of material facts as to involve a high degree of moral culpability, making it appropriate to deter Bloomberg from engaging in similar conduct in the future.”

Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul who ranks as the ninth wealthiest person in the world, quit the race after his self-financed campaign bet big on the Super Tuesday primaries March 3 and then failed to win any of the states.

The former worker bringing the suit was a field organizer who wants compensation, including “unpaid overtime pay,” for themselves and all of the others let go amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Many of these field organizers and other campaign employees resigned or took leaves of absences from their then-current employment, and a lot of them relocated to different cities and states to work for Mr. Bloomberg,” said Gregg Shavitz, founding partner at Shavitz Law Group. “The campaign induced our client into employment and told her that it would last until the November election. Then they fired her and other hardworking Americans, pulling the rug out from under them during an unprecedented global pandemic. Bloomberg should make this right.”

The Bloomberg campaign disputed that its former workers have been hung out to dry.

“This campaign paid its staff wages and benefits that were much more generous than any other campaign this year,” a Bloomberg campaign spokesperson said. “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 Bloomberg campaign said it would create a fund to ensure that staff receive healthcare funding through April and noted that many former staffers would go to work for the Democratic National Committee because of the large monetary transfer of $18 million from Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign to the DNC.

Mr. Bloomberg’s rapid fall in the race and his decision to suddenly get rid of campaign workers sent shock waves across the country.

In Arlington, Virginia, Mr. Bloomberg’s former campaign office is poised to become a liquor store. Virginia ABC is reportedly planning to open a liquor store at Mr. Bloomberg’s former Arlington location, but the store has been slowed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr. Bloomberg entered the 2020 race late, skipped the first several nominating contests and spent more than $500 million including on advertising aimed at the Super Tuesday primaries.

After coming up empty in the 14 states voting on Super Tuesday, he dropped out the next day.

As an arch-foe of President Trump, he promised his anti-Trump advocacy would continuing through November even if his campaign did not.

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