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Bloomberg to let women speak about his business behavior

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  • After receiving blowback for refusing to release female employees from non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking about workplace harassment and misconduct, Mike Bloomberg reversed course Friday.
  • In an afternoon tweet, Bloomberg said his company identified three NDAs regarding comments he had made, and that women can contact the company if they would like to speak publicly about what happened.
  • Bloomberg took a 20 point hit to his approval rating after Wednesday’s debate debacle in Las Vegas.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

After extended blowback over his company’s use of non-disclosure agreements preventing employees from speaking about workplace harassment, Mike Bloomberg reversed course Friday afternoon in a tweet.

“Bloomberg LP has identified 3 NDAs signed over the past 30+ years with women to address complaints about comments they said I had made,” the candidate tweeted. “If any of them want to be released from their NDAs, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release.”

Bloomberg’s lack of an answer over whether he would release women from the NDAs to allow them to speak if they wished drew the ire of Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the debate stage in Las Vegas.

Warren picked Bloomberg apart in an extended exchange, further humiliating the 78-year-old billionaire on a night that cost him 20 points in his approval rating, according to a Morning Consult Poll released Friday.

A November investigation by Business Insider delivered the first reporting on nearly 40 employment lawsuits from 64 people since 1996, with a former employee recently asking a New York Supreme Court Judge to invalidate her NDA and those of any “similarly situated” Bloomberg LP employees.

Bloomberg had refused to say whether any of the women could be released from the agreements until Friday’s announcement on Twitter.

“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,” Bloomberg said in a statement on his campaign website. “It is imperative that when problems occur, workplaces not only address the specific incidents, but the culture and practices that led to those incidents.

“And then leaders must act.”

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