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Former Dealership Employee Sues Over “Weaponized Farting”

June 8, 2018 0 Comments

A former dealership employee in southeast Texas is suing the dealership’s owner and parent
company over a “sexually hostile” work environment he endured for over a year, according to
documents filed in Galveston County.

The lawsuit is a little unorthodox: Brett Bland, who previously worked at the AutoNation Acura
dealership in League City, accuses his former boss Jeremy Pratt of “weaponizing his own farts”
and “pinching Bland’s and other male subordinates’ nipples”, among other inappropriate

According to the plaintiff’s original petition, “[Pratt] reinforced dominance over his subordinates
by regularly entering their enclosed offices, intentionally passing gas and then laughing as they
were forced to breathe soiled air.”

Bland says that Pratt’s behavior was tolerated both in the office and by the dealership’s upper
management, which “opened the door” to nastier behavior on Pratt’s part.

Following an incident in February, Pratt warned anyone thinking of complaining about him to the HR department that
the officials wouldn’t do anything, as Pratt had the director “wrapped around his finger.”

In February, Pratt allegedly sent a text to a group of 8-10 employees containing a photoshopped
image of Bland against a background resembling a jail booking photo or sex offender
identification photo, “falsely [warning] the other recipients that Bland might be a sex offender.”
The group text allegedly included the following messages as well: “Keep your children safe” and
“you are receiving this because there may be a risk of sex offender activity in your area.”
Another recipient in the group said he “was wondering why [Bland] kept asking if I had any
pictures of my nieces or nephews.”

Pratt was eventually fired, but following his termination the dealership subjected Bland to a new
policy: sell eight vehicles per month or be fired. The “8 or the gate” policy, Bland claims, was
not in place before Pratt’s firing.

The lawsuit also alleges that AutoNation management let Pratt loiter at the dealership after his
job termination, allowing him to continue belittling Bland and other former subordinates.
Bland filed the suit on May 25th in Galveston County’s 212th District Court. The suit does not
state the dollar amount Bland is seeking, but it lists damages and court costs as relief.
According to court documents, the dealership has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

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