The Employment Relations Authority has reserved its decision in a case brought by scientist Jim Salinger against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.
Dr Salinger says he was fired by NIWA for repeated instances of unauthorised contact with the media. He had been asked by management to gain approval before he spoke with them.
Dr Salinger's lawyer Alex Hope says his client was the face of NIWA for many years and it should have gone about changing his role as media spokesperson in a more appropriate way.
But NIWA's lawyer Peter Churchman says Dr Salinger had decided to continue contact with the media as and when he saw fit.
The authority will present its findings within six weeks.