Robert Mercer, known for his huge financial contributions to Donald Trump during his campaign, is being sued by one of his employees who claims he was fired for being anti-Trump and for calling Mercer a racist. Mercer is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of Renaissance Technologies LLC.
David Magerman, a research scientist who worked for Mercer’s hedge fund for two decades, claims he was wrongfully terminated after his relationship with Mercer turned sour.
According to Bloomberg, it all started on Jan. 16 when Magerman called Mercer wanting to have an open conversation about Mercer’s support for Trump.
Mageran believed Mercer’s continuous support for Trump “tainted” the hedge fund. Mercer had given at least $2 million to Make America Number 1, a political action committee that supported Trump and also advised Trump to hire Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway. In addition, Rebekah Mercer, his daughter, was named to Trump’s transition team in November.
In his complaint, Magerman said he recalled Mercer saying the U.S. started going in the wrong direction “after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s,” adding that black Americans “were doing fine” in the late 1950s, and are the “only racist people remaining in the U.S.”
Magerman’s attorney, H. Robert Fiebach, said his client “was stunned by these comments and pushed back.” The complaint also alleges Mercer brushed off Magerman’s comments about segregation during those times by saying those issues weren’t important.
After hearing about the conversation, Co-Chief Executive Officer Peter Brown insisted the two men talk it out. In doing so, according to Magerman, their second encounter included Mercer saying, “I hear you’re going around saying I’m a white supremacist.”
The complaint said Magerman “continued to be alarmed” by Mercer’s reactions, and so decided to do an interview with the Wall Street Journal criticizing his boss and his support for Trump. He claims he asked the hedge fund’s chief compliance officer if he could do the interview. Magerman claims he had even told him what he had planned to say during the interview, and in the end was given the “okay” to speak with the WSJ. However, when the article was published, Magerman says he was suspended without pay.
According to the company’s employee handbook workers are not allowed to say anything derogatory about the hedge fund or any of its workers. Magerman is arguing that these policies are “illegal and unenforceable”.
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