Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that his company will release three women from non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
Bloomberg’s media and financial services company located the NDAs of the three women in question who previously accused Bloomberg of offensive remarks, according to The Washington Post.
On Friday, Bloomberg released a statement addressing the controversy surrounding the NDAs.
After “a lot of reflecting,” Bloomberg also vowed not to use to rely on the use of non-disclosure agreements as a resolution sexual misconduct allegations in the future.
“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,” Bloomberg wrote.
I’ve decided that for as long as I’m running Bloomberg LP, we won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward. This goes the same for our campaign.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 21, 2020
Bloomberg has confirmed that if the women wan to be released, “so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release.”
While Bloomberg may believe his decision will lessen the pressure he’s faced from his Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren, his attorney isn’t so sure.
Bonnie Josephs, the New York City lawyer, who represented Bloomberg in the sexual harassment case, has described his decision as “narrow.”
“This is ridiculous. What it appears he’s doing is responding only to the people who have complained about him personally. In my opinion, he can’t separate that out. He’s the boss. He’s the owner. It’s his shop, and if it happens in his shop, it’s on his watch. It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t him. He sets the tone.”
Bloomberg’s decision follows a week-long string of reports on the billionaire businessman and his company’s lengthy history of discrimination and sexism lawsuits.
The reports also fueled Warren’s arguments during Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. As previously reported on IJR, Warren has scorched Bloomberg on the NDAs and continued her pursuit the following night at CNN’s Town Hall meeting.
Even after Bloomberg released his statement regarding the release of the NDAs, Warren still wasn’t pleased. According to her, it’s still “not good enough.”
See Warren’s comments below:
New: Warren responds to Bloomberg’s announcement to clear three people from NDAs
“It’s just not good enough” pic.twitter.com/AqbJmGxOwn
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) February 21, 2020
“Michael Bloomberg needs to do a blanket release so that all the women who have been muzzled by nondisclosure agreements can step up and tell their side of the story,” Warren said. She added:
“If he wants to be the Democratic nominee, and he wants to be the president of the United States, then he’s going to have to be fully transparent on this issue. We cannot have a leader of our party who selectively decides who gets to tell about their history with him.”
Warren also expressed concern about the limitations on Bloomberg’s disclosure as she speculates more than three NDAs were signed.
“If there are only three, then why didn’t he sign a blanket release?” she said. “If he’s limiting the number, then you can’t know if there are three or 30 or 300. And that should not be within the control of Michael Bloomberg.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) also had a statement released by his campaign. His campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, insisted the release “tells the public nothing.”
“Today’s release essentially tells the public nothing — we don’t know how many women signed these NDAs, what percentage of NDAs this represents, or what categories of signed NDAs exist that are excluded,” Bedingfield wrote, adding, “It is well past time for Mayor Bloomberg to dispense with tricks and come clean with everyone he’s asking to vote for him about this very important part of his record.”
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