D&I clash | Ex-Morgan Stanley exec says he was fired because he is white

Ex-Morgan Stanley exec says he was fired because he is white

A white former Morgan Stanley & Co managing director has filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired to make way for a less-qualified Black woman as the investment bank sought to diversify its senior ranks.

As reported by Reuters, Kevin Meyersburg says he was pushed out in May despite "an impressive list of achievements" as Morgan Stanley sought to further its diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Meyersburg said he supported those initiatives during the three years that he served as managing director and head of executive services, but earlier this year was replaced in that role by the head of Morgan Stanley's financial wellness team.

"While the Wellness Director may be a talented corporate executive, she simply did not have comparable levels of experience or background ... to justify Morgan Stanley’s decision," Meyersburg said in the lawsuit.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman did not immediately have a comment.

The lawsuit comes as many experts are expecting an uptick in reverse-discrimination lawsuits in the wake of a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down race-conscious college admissions policies.

The ruling does not apply directly to employers, but opponents of corporate diversity policies have already seized on the decision to support their arguments.

Earlier this month, Gannett Co Inc was hit with a proposed class action claiming it has discriminated against white workers in newsrooms across the country, which quotes from the recent Supreme Court decision. Gannett has denied wrongdoing.

Last year, conservative nonprofit America First Legal filed a complaint against Morgan Stanley with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming a training and apprenticeship program for Black, Hispanic, Native American and LGBTQ college students violated the federal law banning workplace discrimination.

Morgan Stanley has declined to comment on the complaint.

America First, which was founded by former Trump administration officials, has filed complaints targeting diversity programs at more than a dozen other companies including Starbucks Corp, McDonald's Corp, and Kellogg Co. The EEOC has not said whether it is investigating those complaints.

Meyersburg says that in April, a month before his firing, he was tasked with compiling a list of employees who could be terminated for underperformance. Morgan Stanley rejected his recommendation to fire a woman and two minority employees, according to the lawsuit.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for the next 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.