Allegations of workplace harassment, sexism and gender discrimination loomed over Michael Bloomberg during his first U.S. Democratic debate on Wednesday night.
Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who was once a Republican, was forced to defend his record and past remarks about policing of minorities and demeaning comments about women, including those who worked at his financial data company, Bloomberg LP.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren stood out with repeated attacks on Bloomberg, labelling him “a billionaire who calls people fat broads and horse-faced lesbians.”
Warren also called out Bloomberg’s use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and asked whether he would be willing to “release” his female former employees from their agreements so they could speak publicly about their allegations.
Bloomberg said no, and asserted the NDAs were “consensual” documents. The former mayor also attempted to downplay the NDAs, suggesting that the women involved “didn’t like a joke I told.”
But what exactly is Bloomberg accused of? Here is an overview of the allegations made against him and members of his company.
Allegations of sexism and inappropriate comments
A recent Washington Post investigation highlighted several lawsuits filed over the years against Bloomberg and his company, with allegations including gender and pregnancy discrimination.
The suits include a case “brought by a federal agency” and one by a former employee who said Bloomberg created a culture of “sexual harassment and degradation,” according to the Post.
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