Recently-released excerpts from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's deposition in a gender discrimination lawsuit against his company confirm that he kind of acted like an asshole.
Mr. Bloomberg noted that the deposition was providing a forum for a re-reading of his book.
"One benefit of a deposition," Ms. Wong said.
"Absolutely," he responded. "Could you name the other?"
"I'm sure we'll think of plenty others later on," she replied.
"I don't think so," he said.
Bloomberg, or fictional Mark Zuckerberg sassing a lawyer in The Social Network?
In a case filed in 2007, the EEOC charged the mayor's company with a pattern of discrimination against women, pregnant women in particular. The mayor is Bloomberg LP's biggest shareholder but hasn't run the day-to-day operations in years, so the focus has been more on whom he left in charge. According to one plaintiff, Bloomberg News editor Matthew Winkler complained of pregnant employees who didn't come back after maternity leave, "It's like stealing money from Mike Bloomberg's wallet. It's theft. They should be arrested." At issue is what happened when they came back, including the company's approach to accommodating parents:
At one point in his testimony, Mr. Bloomberg mocked flexible work schedules and telecommuting by suggesting an alternative to videotaping his remarks from the discomfort of his lawyers' offices.
"Could we continue this via phone conference so that I can be back in my office, or do you believe that that's not acceptable?" Mr. Bloomberg said. "I'm just asking. I'd be happy to do it if you want."
So accommodating! A judge is expected to rule in the coming months on Bloomberg LP's motion to dismiss the case. A separate suit, filed in 1997, alleged that Bloomberg told a pregnant employee, "Kill it!" and accused him and colleagues of sexual harassment. That case was settled in 2000, though Bloomberg denied the charges.