Social Media Giant, Snapchat, Facing California Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

There seems to be a tech company constantly in the news facing a lawsuit – recent news has given the spotlight to the social media giant, Snapchat. The plaintiff in the case alleges wrongful termination.

The plaintiff, Anthony Pompliano, claims he was fired after alerting supervisors to potential misrepresentation on the part of the company. Pompliano filed the California wrongful termination lawsuit in January 2017. He claims that Snapchat intentionally misled their investors in order to inflate Snapchat’s valuation prior to its initial public offering (IPO). In addition, Pompliano alleges that Snapchat has actively sought to destroy his career since the termination.

According to news reports, Pompliano filed his California wrongful termination lawsuit against Snapchat alleging that he advised his supervisors on the job of Snapchat’s activity, mainly alleged misrepresentation of growth metrics. Snapchat hired Pompliano in August 2015. Prior to working with Snapchat, Pompliano worked for Facebook. Pompliano alleges that he was given false information during the hiring process that resulted in him taking a job with Snapchat. The company has a fierce rivalry with Pompliano’s previous employer, Facebook, another social media giant that has been on the seen years longer than the relatively new Snapchat. Pompliano claims that Snapchat fraudulently enticed him away from his position with Facebook to run Snapchat’s new user growth and engagement team. After working for Snapchat for only three weeks, it became apparent to Pompliano that Snapchat has falsely represented the Company’s growth, among other things.

In court documents, Pompliano states that during his time with Snapchat he learned that the metrics he was provided during his hiring process were false. Upon realizing this, Pompliano notified the Snapchat Vice President of Finance. Allegedly, some of the company’s superiors agreed with Pompliano, but afterward he was fired. Pompliano claims that Snapchat only hired him in order to obtain Facebook’s proprietary information. He further claims that he did not breach any agreements that he had with his previous employer, Facebook.

Pompliano claims he was fired because Snapchat accurately perceived that he would not turn a blind eye to continued misrepresentations of Company data to the public, advertisers, prospective employees, investors, etc. In addition to terminating his employment, Pompliano claims that Snapchat sought to destroy his career and his professional reputation through false misrepresentations about his termination. While Snapchat (and their maker, Snap Inc.) claim the allegations have on merit, Pompliano’s suit seeks to prevent the company from misrepresenting why his was fired.

If you have questions about wrongful termination or what constitutes a wrongful termination, please get in touch with one of the experienced southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.