Former workers of Michael Bloomberg’s short-lived presidential campaign filed lawsuits against him in New York City.

Bloomberg promised them jobs and benefits through November in several vital states, even if he did not get the nomination.

Bloomberg decided not to make his campaign “into a new inside group.” Instead, he chose to transfer $18 million to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Those who worked for Bloomberg must reapply for positions within the DNC. Officials already said the DNC would not give them preferential treatment.

Donna Wood, named as the plaintiff in one lawsuit, worked in Miami for Bloomberg’s campaign. She “is seeking a minimum of $48 million in damages, argues that Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign ‘fraudulently induced’ staffers into working for him and failed to pay staff overtime wages, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.” More from The Wall Street Journal:

“Thereafter, in contravention of its promise of continued employment through November 2020 and in the face of a world-wide pandemic and likely global recession, Defendant terminated the vast majority of its (field organizers) and other campaign employees,” Ms. Wood’s complaint filed Monday states.

Sally Abrahamson, a lawyer for Outten & Golden who is representing Ms. Wood, said she had already received calls from dozens of former staffers saying “they want to be an active participant in this case,” she said.

A representative for the campaign said in a statement that Mr. Bloomberg paid staff and offered benefits that “were much more generous than any other campaign this year.” The representative also said that staff worked 39 days on average and were given weeks of severance and health care originally through March, and later through April after a separate fund was created in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Alexis Sklair, Sterling Rettke, and Nathaniel Brown worked on the campaign in Georgia, Washington, and Utah filed the second lawsuit.

In their lawsuit, they provided details of “opportunities they gave up to accept jobs with” the campaign:

“The statements by Mike Bloomberg 2020 that the staffers would perform both primary and general election work for the campaign were material facts that directly influenced the plaintiffs’ and the other staffers’ decisions to enter into an employment relationship with Mike Bloomberg 2020 and perform work for the campaign for months instead of pursuing other work opportunities,” the second complaint states.

“The plaintiffs and the other putative class members did not know that the defendant’s representations were false, and would not have accepted their positions with Mike Bloomberg 2020 in the absence of the campaign’s false representations,” it adds.

The Wall Street Journal reported that material from the campaign stated “employment through November wasn’t included in the contracts signed by the staffers, which specified they were ‘at-will’ employees who could be terminated.” Also:

Some of the hiring materials, however, included paperwork suggesting staffers could stay on payroll through November if they were willing to relocate.

The contract also classified the positions as “exempt from the overtime provisions of federal and applicable state laws,” according to Ms. Wood’s complaint.

 

 
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