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United States Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, has vowed to release several former female employees from their non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
The NDAs were signed by employees within Bloomberg’s company, Bloomberg LP from the last three decades. Several of the NDAs were reportedly signed after female employees alleged that discriminatory comments were made by the former New York mayor.
NDAs to be voided
According to a statement by Bloomberg’s presidential campaign team, Bloomberg LP has offered three individuals involved in the NDAs, to be released from the agreement.
“If any of them want to be released from their NDAs, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release.”, Bloomberg tweeted on February 21.
Bloomberg has identified three NDAs which he has said were signed in relation to sexual harassment and sexual assault incidents.
Bloomberg to resolves claims
Bloomberg has vowed to resolve claims of sexual misconduct moving forward in his presidential bid.
In a statement from his campaign website, Bloomberg said, “I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and I’ve decided that for as long as I’m running the company, we won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward.”
He also continued to say that business leaders should set an example of a good workplace culture.
“All business leaders must recognize that our workplace cultures are our responsibility and leadership on good workplace policies must come from the top,” Bloomberg added.
According to the statement, Bloomberg has called for a review and reform on policies regarding equal pay and promotion, sexual harassment and discrimination, and ‘other legal tools’ that prevent culture change.
The NDAs became a hot topic in the democratic debate after Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, accused Bloomberg of calling women “fat broads” and “horse-faced lesbians” as well as silencing the women’s complaints against him.
Warren, alongside fellow presidential candidate Joe Biden, challenged Bloomberg to release the individuals from the NDAs, saying “All the mayor has to do is say, ‘you are released from the nondisclosure agreements.'"
At the debate, Bloomberg said the non-disclosure agreements were “consensual” and said women who complained “didn’t like a joke he told”.
The complaints are arising amid a worldwide #MeToo phenomenon where men are being forced and encouraged to grow more self-aware of their behaviour, especially in the workplace.