(Reuters) – Former organizers for Michael Bloomberg’s unsuccessful presidential bid sued the billionaire’s campaign on Monday, saying he laid them off amid the global coronavirus pandemic after promising pay and benefits through the November election.
Employees resigned from good jobs to take positions with Bloomberg’s campaign, and they now face unemployment and the loss of their health insurance in the midst of the spreading virus, field organizers Alexis Sklair, Sterling Rettke and Nathaniel Brown said in their complaint, one of two proposed class action lawsuits potentially representing thousands of workers.
“They promised salaries nearly double that of other campaigns,” alleged their complaint, filed on Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. “And they pledged to keep this promise regardless of whether Bloomberg won the Democratic nomination.”
Donna Wood, an organizer in Miami, said in a separate complaint that she was laid off last week despite promises of continued employment.
Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York, was a late entrant to the Democratic Party’s nominating race and then abruptly exited after a disappointing showing on March 3, the first time his name appeared on ballots.