Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg on Sunday said he doesn’t believe he has made mistakes with female employees, despite multiple complaints and lawsuits of sexism and harassment against him.
“Do you think you made any mistakes in the way you treated female employees at your company?” an ABC News reporter asked.
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“I don’t. Not everybody’s happy, but we have an enviable record of treating people the same in terms of compensation and promotions and authority,” Bloomberg said.
The billionaire’s company, Bloomberg L.P., has received multiple legal complaints of workplace discrimination and harassment dating back decades. Some of the complaints are against Bloomberg himself, but he denies any wrongdoing.
Bloomberg has allegedly made numerous sexist remarks during his business career, some of which are included in a 1990 “Wit and Wisdom” booklet that contains multiple off-color quips that are attributed to him. In addition to the sexist remarks, Sekiko Sakai, who worked for Bloomberg from 1989 to 1995, claimed he told her to “kill it” when she announced her pregnancy.
The three-term New York City mayor is facing mounting pressure from presidential rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) to release current and former female employees from their strict nondisclosure agreements.
“I think NDAs are a way for people to hide bad things they’ve done,” Warren said. “And I think that women should be able to speak. They need to be released from NDAs.”
While Bloomberg’s spokesperson Julie Wood defended Bloomberg on his treatment of women, she did acknowledge that “[Bloomberg] has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong,” adding that “his words have not always aligned with his values.”
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