Mike Bloomberg still has sex problems of his own. Last fall, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against Bloomberg LP, the multibillion-dollar media company he founded and still owns a majority stake in, charging “a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination against non-clerical female employees based on their sex and pregnancy by decreasing their pay, demoting them, diminishing their job duties.” The company denies the charges but is concerned enough about them that it recently hired a former EEOC general counsel Eric Dreiband, who’s in private practice with D.C. powerhouse firm Akin Gump. He was retained to join Bloomberg’s Willkie Farr lawyers because of his EEOC expertise, says Bloomberg LP spokeswoman Judith Czelusniak. “It suggests to me that Bloomberg is taking this very seriously,” says John M. Lambros, an employment-discrimination lawyer who isn’t involved in the case. Adds Salvatore Gangemi, another discrimination lawyer, “This is a PR battle for them to show they haven’t done anything wrong. What better lawyer to represent them than someone associated with the EEOC?”
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