As those who read Wednesday's blog post know, Fidelity Investments touched off a firestorm recently with news that they fired four staffers for playing fantasy football in the office. All four were fairly junior employees and commissioners of their leagues. Not fired was at least one higher-up in the same office, or the thousands of other Fidelity employees doing the exact same thing in offices around the country.
I've done a little sleuthing and have uncovered the name and email address of the GM at Fidelity's Westlake branch, which is where the fired employees were based. I've just emailed Tom Herrick (email@example.com) a polite, yet direct message and let him know that I would continue to lambaste Fidelity from my fantasy guru perch until they rehire these guys, for this unreasonable and capricious application of an alleged "no tolerance" policy.
Check out my cameo in FOX News' report from last night here: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/local/fantasy-league-broke-rules,-four-fired
Again I ask...why did they only fire the commissioners? Surely they know that where there's a commish, there are 7-15 other players engaged in the same dastardly conduct. What about the manager who was playing in one of those leagues who apparently got off scott free? Talk about a lawsuit waiting to happen!
What about the senior execs at Fidelity corporate who play? I guarantee you at least a small amount of their time at work is spent engaged in fantasy talk or other activity. Why aren't their heads rolling? Hey...fair is fair. No tolerance means no tolerance.
(By the way, the firings were ordered by Corporate, not the local branch. But I have reason to believe it didn't have to go down that way if Mr. Herrick hadn't let it.)
And by the way, as a friend said to me yesterday, where would Fidelity be if every company had a strict policy against "gambling" in the workplace? You think stock trading isn't gambling? My buddy said he made $4K in his Fidelity account yesterday simply by selling RIM stock after it spiked $10. How many millions of times per day is that repeated across the country?
Methinks Fidelity needs to take a serious look at the way they enforce this policy.
Please join me in writing Mr. Herrick today. Let him know what you think of the way Fidelity handled this situation. Hey...if you have an account with them (I don't), they have plenty of competition. I highly recommend eTrade.