Omarosa Manigault Newman Joins Collective Action Against Trump Campaign
On Monday, Omarosa Manigault Newman, an entrepreneur and former political aide to President Donald Trump, filed a motion to join collective legal action against the Trump campaign for allegedly violating the Equal Pay Act.
Manigault Newman filed the motion in the U.S. District Court For The Middle District of Florida.
Earlier this year, former Trump campaign staffer Alva Johnson filed a lawsuit against the president in federal court accusing him of sexual assault during his 2016 campaign. Johnson also said she and other women of color were paid less than white men with similar or less professional responsibilities on the campaign trail.
The motion filed Monday requests conditional certification of collective action against Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. (DJTFP) for violating the Equal Pay Act.
Johnson alleged in the suit that she and “similarly situated” women employees of the national campaign “were paid less than their male counterparts for performing substantially similar work.”
The motion added that “this pay disparity was the result of a common scheme carried out by DJTFP’s male-dominated management and upheld via DJTFP’s centralized decision-making and policies.”
Manigault Newman joined the collective action Monday, writing in a Declaration that she was paid less in her role as Director of African American Outreach by DJTFP, than men performing similar work.
“While I strongly suspected I was subjected to pay discrimination while with the Trump Campaign, I have since seen expert analysis confirming this to be true. The numbers don’t lie,” Manigault Newman said in a statement to Fortune.
“After nearly 20 years inside the beltway, working for two white houses and countless political campaigns, I’ve never witnessed such egregious violations as I did during my time under the leadership of Donald Trump and Mike Pence,” she said.
An analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission by economist Phillip Johnson showed that from May to December 2016, women staffers of the Trump campaign were paid 18.2% less than men. The data shows, for example, that in May 2016 while women staffers were paid an average of $3,609, men were paid $4,624.
“This case is about two things: Donald Trump’s predation, and his campaign’s discrimination against women and people of color,” said lead attorney Hassan Zavareei in a statement to Fortune. “Our filing today advances our claim for sex discrimination by seeking collective action certification on behalf of female campaign staffers.”
Johnson was paid $3,000 per month between January and August 2016 and received a $1,000 bonus at the end of that month, according to the motion. She was then paid $4,000 per month from September 2016 until she left the campaign.
According to the motion, Sidney Bowdidge, a former massage therapist who was part of the National Strike Team with Johnson, was paid $3,500 per month from March through August 2016 for his duties managing and recruiting campaign volunteers. From August until the end of the campaign, Bowdidge was paid $7,000 per month.
If the motion is granted, the plaintiffs hope other women will join the lawsuit.
“It is time for all of us to blow the whistle on the wrongdoings of this Campaign,” said Manigault Newman.