Former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg released a statement Friday saying he’s willing to release three women from non-disclosure agreements, if any of them step forward and ask for it.
Bloomberg LP has identified 3 NDAs signed over the past 30+ years with women to address complaints about comments they said I had made.
If any of them want to be released from their NDAs, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release. https://t.co/bO9JpvSx1T
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 21, 2020
“I recognize that NDAs, particularly when they are used in the context of sexual harassment and sexual assault, promote a culture of silence in the workplace and contribute to a culture of women not feeling safe or supported,” said Bloomberg, who was once sued for allegedly telling a pregnant female employee that she should “kill it.”
Plaintiff Sekiko Sakai Garrison said she was fired after making a complaint about the statement. In her lawsuit, she reached confidential settlement with the CEO, who is best known for running New York City as a Republican mayor. Former co-worker David Zielenziger backed up her story in a recent WaPo report, claiming he witnessed the incident. Bloomberg complained that Garrison and 15 other women were on a maternity-related status, he said. This witness was not deposed in the complaint.
Nonetheless, Bloomberg has faced long-time allegations of persistently making degrading comments about women, and facilitating an atmosphere at Bloomberg LP in which female employees were subject to sexual harassment and assault.
The former mayor’s new announcement comes after a poorly received performance in a primary debate, in which opponent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) used his NDAs against him.
Bloomberg’s use of non-disclosure agreements also shaped his campaign. Critics voiced concern that the documents were overly broad, and could be used to stop employees from reporting abuses.
Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.
[Image via George Frey/Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]