Michael Bloomberg said on Friday that three women—former employees of his media company—bound by non-disclosure agreements regarding his past conduct, can be released from the agreements if they wish.
The Democratic U.S. presidential candidate said in a statement that the agreements concern “comments they said” he “had made” and that the women should contact his company to be released from the NDAs.
Bloomberg, who runs the media conglomerate Bloomberg LP, also said that he was ending the companys long-standing practice of requiring confidentiality agreements when reaching settlements with complaining employees.
“Ive done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days, and Ive decided that for as long as Im running the company, we wont offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward,” the billionaire former mayor of New York said.
“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,” he said.
“It is imperative that when problems occur, workplaces not only address the specific incidents but the culture and practices that led to those incidents,” Bloomberg added. “And then leaders must act.”
Bloomberg, at the recent debate in Nevada, called the NDAs “consensual” and said women who complained “didnt like a joke I told.”
Bloombergs statement comes after pressure from Democratic presidential rival Elizabeth Warren, who confronted Bloomberg at the debate in Nevada about his companys record related to claims of workplace discrimination and harassment.
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