Unhappy with his boss and former friend’s close association with the Trump administration, David Magerman aired his concerns about Renaissance Technologies President Robert Mercer in a February interview with the Wall Street Journal. Although the hedge fund’s legal department had assured the research scientist that his interview would not violate company policy, Mr. Magerman was fired shortly after publication of the article, which labeled Mr. Mercer a racist.The former partner is now fighting back with a wrongful termination lawsuit, which should serve as a cautionary tale for all companies, says Dallas labor and employment attorney Leiza Dolghih of Godwin Bowman & Martinez.It is important for a company to establish and enforce clear rules on media interaction, particularly in situations such as this where you have high profile leadership or there is a potential for controversy. Here you had an employee who claimed that the Chief Compliance Officer orally told him that his interview was authorized,” she says. “No matter how respected he may have been at the firm, Magerman was known to have divergent views that were likely to be explored during the course of the interview. Even in instances where an employee is allowed to talk with the media, you cannot give them blanket assurances about repercussions.
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