A new investigation on Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg alleges a toxic work environment where he routinely verbally abused female staff members and made misogynistic business decisions. Bloomberg has continued to deny claims of a hostile workplace.
According to Business Insider, former employees called Bloomberg LP a “toxic and demoralizing system.” The former New York mayor was said to have been particularly unpleasant in his dealings with women.
One of the most egregious allegations was the accusation that Bloomberg had refused to promote a woman deserving of the job because of her weight.
“I will not have that fat woman representing my company,” he reportedly told a colleague.
That said, the woman in question, Maggie Berry, responded to the reports from Business Insider by claiming that she always felt respected in the workplace and that Bloomberg had encouraged her to work with clients, despite the fact that she did not receive the promotion.
Meanwhile, other former employees claimed that Bloomberg and his other male executives would often use the term “SFUs” to refer to women. The acronym stands for short, fat, and ugly.
Bloomberg also reportedly referred to a woman as “Stopatruckski,” which was apparently a pun on her last name.
But it was not just Bloomberg who had problems with his relationship with female colleagues. Dozens of former employees at Bloomberg News alleged that Washington editor Al Hunt was even worse. He reportedly touched multiple women inappropriately, in addition to bullying his staff. Despite the fact that Hunt had to settle two legal cases and was the subject of multiple complaints over the years, he remained at the company.
Hunt has denied all claims against him. However, a Bloomberg LP spokesman acknowledged that there were “certainly instances where we wish we had handled some complaints differently” in dealing with Hunt.
Employees also noted that Bloomberg’s behavior was not just a relic of the ’80s and ’90s, but persisted to at least 2014, if not later.
“It’s the way he talked, and everyone knows that,” one woman explained.
She also expressed regret at not speaking out about Bloomberg’s behavior earlier.
“As a woman, I didn’t push back, and I didn’t say, ‘Don’t do that.’ Many of us just tolerated it. And I’m really ashamed about that,” the former employee added.
This latest investigation seems to echo previous reports about Bloomberg’s unsavory comments towards women. The rumors had become so widespread that Elizabeth Warren used them against Bloomberg in a recent Democratic debate.
“I’d like to talk about who we are running against, a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians — and no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Warren said, to both gasps and applause.