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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What @MikeBloomberg Should Have Said About His Inappropriate Comments

When asked about the sexual harassment complaints against him, Mike Bloomberg said, "“None of them accuse me of doing anything other than, maybe, they didn't like a joke I told." Groan. Why wasn't he prepared for this?

It's a pickle for his handlers, because there's a whole book out of his inappropriate comments at work. If I were prepping him, I'd have told him to get out in front of it before it turned into the debacle that it has become.

I'd have told him to say something like this:
Yeah, I've said some inappropriate things at work. I thought they were funny at the time but I realize now that people found them offensive. That's the problem with being the billionaire owner of  a business: nobody calls you on your sh**. I take responsiblity for that, and I'm glad my colleagues up here are calling me on it now. I pledge that, as your President, I will surround myself with people who will tell me if I'm screwing up, unlike the current President, who surrounds himself with yes-men and sycophants.
I agree with Liz that we need stronger laws against sexual harassment. For instance, there is no federal law prohibiting sexual harassment of interns. That needs to change. There's no federal law requiring sexual harassment training. That needs to change. The laws are so complicated now that many sexual harassment victims have to have law degrees to jump through all the legal hoops required to get relief. That needs to change. I would propose comprehensive overhaul of our sexual harassment laws to provide more protection to vulnerable employees. As a start, I'd support the “BE HEARD in the Workplace” Act. As your President, I would listen to sexual harassment victims and their advocates and work hard to make sure the laws protect all employees.
But that's just me. I'm sorry he didn't have a better answer. Now he'll have to backpedal and deal with this better during the campaign.

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.