A lawsuit by a male ex-employee at a suburban Detroit dealership’s business development center alleges that his female supervisors engaged in gender-based harassment, threats and insults.
Matthew Cottrill’s suit against Feldman Chevrolet of Highland in Highland Township, Mich., seeks unspecified damages under federal and state civil rights and retaliation laws.
According to the suit, Cottrill was the only man in the department when the store hired him in October 2020. He started the job with a $14,000 base salary, plus commission.
The suit alleges that he was “harassed, threatened and belittled by multiple women in supervisory roles,” his department heads among them. For example, one supervisor allegedly prohibited him “from contacting new leads for days, which resulted in his losing out on hundreds of dollars each day.”
It said that Cottrill complained to no avail to his department head’s male supervisor, who allegedly told him: “You are a guy. You should have thicker skin and should not be bullied by girls.”
Complaints to the store’s male general manager also proved unproductive, the suit claimed.
He was fired in May 2021 for allegedly “slamming a chair into a desk, not wanting to act as a team player and having a bad work ethic,” according to the suit, which characterized it as a “misunderstanding.”
Dealership lawyer Nicholas Ranke said the company cannot comment on pending litigation but added that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had dismissed Cottrill’s complaint.