Mayor Michael Bloomberg told lawyers at a deposition in a discrimination case against the company he founded that his opinion about the loyalty of employees hasn't changed in three decades: He still has no use for somebody who quits the company bearing his name, Bloomberg L.P.
Bloomberg told a lawyer for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during depositions in 2009 that he believes "more so than ever before" that anyone quitting to work for a competitor should fail. He made the comment after he was confronted with a statement he had made in the past that if someone goes to work for a competitor, "then we all heartily and cordially really do hope they fail."
Snippets of the deposition were contained in court papers that became available Thursday in federal court in Manhattan. The papers were filed last week. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in 2007, alleging that Bloomberg L.P. engaged in a pattern of demoting women, diminishing their duties and excluding them from other job opportunities after they disclosed they were pregnant.
Bloomberg underwent the videotaped questioning reluctantly at times and sometimes became testy, telling a lawyer at one point: "If you want to take things out of context, just state that you're going to do that."
On the subject of discrimination, he distanced himself from company practices that have occurred since he gave up running the communications company to become mayor in 2002, more than 20 years after he started the firm.
Asked if he thought it important to require all managers to attend anti-discrimination training, he said: "I'm not running the company, I have no idea."
Then he was asked if he had any such requirements of managers when he ran Bloomberg.
"I don't remember," he said.
At one point in the deposition, which took place over two days, Bloomberg asked if it could be continued by phone conference so he could return to his office.
"I'm just asking. I'd be happy to do it if you want," Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg L.P. said in a statement: "The EEOC has no substantive argument or evidence in this case. Rather, they have resorted to regurgitating second- and third-hand quotes — these accusations are old news and false. Bloomberg is one of the fastest-growing companies in New York for a good reason: It's a great place to work."