An ex-employee of billion-dollar investment firm Renaissance Technologies is suing chief co-executive Robert Mercer, who reportedly fired the man after he spoke out against Mercer’s political, and allegedly racist, views.
The lawsuit, filed by former employee David Magerman on Friday, May 5, accuses Mercer of making a series of racist comments about African-Americans. Magerman claims he asked to speak with Mercer about his support for President Donald Trump, saying he and Mercer spoke via telephone prior to Trump’s inauguration, CNN Money reported.
During that call, Mercer reportedly suggested the U.S. began heading in the wrong direction after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and asserted Black people were fine before the act was passed. Mercer, who contributed more than $15 million to a conservative super PAC that threw its support behind Trump, also argued that the only racist people in America are Black, according to the lawsuit.
Magerman said he was appalled at hearing Mercer’s comments and discussed them with other Renaissance employees. His complaint alleges that Mercer called him a few weeks later and said, “I hear you’re going around saying I’m a white supremacist.” The former employee said he denied saying such a thing, which led to an argument about their prior conversation in which Mercer repeated many of the same opinions, the lawsuit alleges.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Magerman said he felt obligated to speak out against his boss because Mercer was “using the money I helped him make to implement his worldview.” Magerman, who made nearly $250,000 a year, plus bonuses, claims he was suspended without pay shortly after the story was made public and then ultimately fired.
The complaint includes a copy of his contract, according to CNN Money, which shows Magerman as an “at will” employee who can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all and without notice. The former employee is seeking unspecified monetary and punitive damage, as well as attorney’s fees.
Officials with Renaissance Technologies didn’t respond to requests for comment.