Former presidential candidate Tom Steyer is facing accusations by his campaign staffers that he violated their labor rights, according to a lawsuit.
A suit filed on July 27 by field organizers Alexa Kern and Mary Sweeney revolves around several claims related to wage violations, including “failure to pay for all hours worked,” according to a report by the Washington Free Beacon. Aside from the alleged wage theft, few other details are known about the suit.
The suit was filed under California’s 2004 labor code, the Private Attorneys General Act, which permits employees to sue their employer on the state’s behalf for wage and labor violations.
Steyer, a California billionaire and hedge fund manager, briefly ran as a Democrat ahead of the 2020 election. During his run, Steyer was particularly vocal about his proposals to mitigate climate change having had a history of environmental activism.
Steyer previously faced complaints about poor labor conditions by ex-staffers from NextGen America, a progressive advocacy nonprofit organization and political action committee created by the billionaire in 2013.
Staffers commented about the “hellish” conditions they faced to the left-leaning Splinter News, saying they worked as many as 90 hours a week and were unable to take time for personal engagements such as doctor’s appointments. They cited that management set unattainable goals with poor targeting strategies.
One staffer, who said the gig was their first job out of high school, said they had to work seven days a week with no time off, seeing their coworkers more than their family members.
Steyer has continued being politically active through NextGen since dropping out of the presidential race. He has been donating to Democratic candidates through his PAC.