The communications director of a UK pro-life organization said a 1997 lawsuit that alleged Michael Bloomberg told his pregnant employee to “kill it” in order to protect her career at his firm, is an example of the pressure to abort that pregnant women continually face in the workplace.
“Outrageous comments such as these can pressure women to have an abortion in order to protect their career,” said Michael Robinson, director of communications at the pro-life Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). “These comments are not appropriate for any employer.”
According to allegations made in a 1997 lawsuit against the former New York City mayor, Bloomberg told employee Sekiko Sakai, a sales manager in his company, to “kill it” when she revealed her pregnancy.
“Great, No. 16′,” the current Democrat presidential candidate allegedly bemoaned, according to a 2001 New York Times article, in a reference to the 16 pregnant employees he had in his company at the time.
The lawsuit and its allegations resurfaced in December, along with others claiming a sexist environment at Bloomberg LP, after the billionaire businessman’s announcement of his candidacy for president.
ABC News ran a piece with the headline, “Bloomberg’s Sexist Remarks Fostered Company Culture that Degraded Women, Lawsuits Allege.”
As the Times reported in 2001, Bloomberg has denied the specific allegation that he told Sakai to “kill it,” citing a polygraph test.
According to ABC News, Bloomberg LP “settled Sakai’s case on undisclosed terms, and she is now bound by a confidentiality agreement.”
SPUC’s Robinson said Bloomberg’s alleged comments represent “a scenario in which such negative workplace attitudes towards pregnancy and motherhood make a woman feel she ought to have an abortion in order to protect her career.”
In 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought a massive case against Bloomberg’s company, alleging discrimination against pregnant women and new mothers in the firm.
ABC News reported:
The lawsuit alleged that the company engaged in a pattern of discrimination against women after they became pregnant and after they took maternity leave. Sixty-seven women were prepared to join the case. The time period of the misconduct alleged in the lawsuit was between 2002 and 2007 while Bloomberg was mayor of New York City and not involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, although he remained the majority owner of it. A court dismissed the case in 2011.
A later 2016 lawsuit places the blame directly on Bloomberg for creating the hostile culture at his company.
“Mr. Bloomberg, Bloomberg’s founder, CEO, and President, and the former three-term Mayor of New York, encouraged this type of sexist and sexually charged behavior,” said the complaint, according to ABC News. The complainant was an anonymous 26-year-old female employee of the company.
“Bloomberg’s notoriously sexist and hostile work environment has been well documented and has been the subject of myriad law suits prior to this lawsuit,” the complaint continued.
“It is important that women in the workplace do not have their job security threatened because of pregnancy,” SPUC’s Robinson commented. “Negative workplace attitudes towards pregnancy and motherhood can put pregnant women in an extremely vulnerable position at a time when their focus should be on their wellbeing and that of their unborn child.”
Robinson stressed as well that discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace “is not a matter of isolated incidents, but is part of a growing hostility towards pregnancy and motherhood.”
Bloomberg is a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights. Last week, he announced his plan “to expand and safeguard access to reproductive services.”
Women employees of Planned Parenthood have reported complaints similar to those of Bloomberg’s female staff.
In December 2018, the New York Times published a report that revealed employees of Planned Parenthood said the abortion giant mistreated and discriminated against pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace.
The report observed interviews and legal documents showed women employees of Planned Parenthood and other feminist organizations have “described discrimination that violated federal or state laws — managers considering pregnancy in hiring decisions, for example, or denying rest breaks recommended by a doctor.”
“Many women said they were afraid to announce a pregnancy at work, sensing they would be seen as abandoning their colleagues,” stated the Times, adding:
[A]t Planned Parenthood, the country’s leading provider of reproductive services, managers in some locations declined to hire pregnant job candidates, refused requests by expecting mothers to take breaks and in some cases pushed them out of their jobs after they gave birth, according to current and former employees in California, Texas, North Carolina and New York.
Former Planned Parenthood employees and union representatives say the discrimination exists against pregnant employees and new mothers, with some employees expressing a disdain by management toward pregnant staff.
According to the Times report, Planned Parenthood blamed its reported failure to provide paid maternity leave or appropriate workplace conditions for pregnant employees on continued threats of defunding by conservative lawmakers.