Billionaire, Democratic megadonor, and failed presidential candidate Tom Steyer (D-Calif.) is facing a lawsuit from former staffers of his campaign, alleging that Steyer violated certain labor laws in the treatment of his employees, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
The suit was filed in a California court in late July by two former staffers who claim that the campaign’s treatment of some employees violated the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), a law passed in California in 2004 that allows employees to sue employers on behalf of the state for a variety of workplace-related reasons.
Although the plaintiffs have not yet listed any specific actions by Steyer that violated PAGA, the vast majority of PAGA lawsuits often involve wage-related violations, such as failure to pay an employee fully for all hours that have been worked.
Ironically enough, Steyer was one of the biggest champions of PAGA, helping to shore up support for the law due to his connections to many labor union leaders as well as the leaders of the California Democratic Party. Steyer is still active in California Democratic politics, as the co-chair of Governor Gavin Newsom’s economic recovery commission. Despite his failed bid for the presidency, Steyer has continued to spend heavily on the 2020 campaign in support of Democrats across the country, with his nonprofit group NextGen spending over $5 million.
Steyer joined the race for the Democratic primary at an unusually late time in the cycle, announcing his bid on July 9, 2019, after previously declaring in January of that same year that he would not run; he was the 27th, or third-to-last, candidate to enter the race out of a total of 29 candidates. Despite spending significantly more money than his rivals due to his own personal wealth, he performed poorly in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary; after a third-place finish in the South Carolina primary, he dropped out and endorsed eventual nominee Joe Biden.