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Fired Worker Says Adderall Was Part of the Job

SHERMAN, Texas (CN) — A finance manager for a Texas car dealership claims in court that his boss gave employees prescription Adderall to boost production, which hospitalized him with "heart-attack conditions," and the boss fired him after he spent a month in rehab.

Brandon Davis sued Berkshire Hathaway Automotive dba Crest Nissan of Frisco on Aug. 8 in Federal Court. The dealership is the only defendant.

Davis says in the lawsuit he was the dealership's top-producing finance manager and had the highest customer-service rating among his peers, which was not lost on his bosses, who noted those accomplishments in a letter of recommendation.

But Davis says when the dealership hired a new finance director, Justin Hamaker, in the summer of 2015, the workplace abruptly changed.

"Plaintiff noticed that his fellow finance managers did not seem as tired as plaintiff on long working days and nights," he says in the complaint.

"During a discussion with Hamaker, Hamaker indicated to plaintiff that he had provided Adderall to the other finance managers and would do the same for plaintiff. Hamaker indicated the Adderall was necessary to work long hours and achieve high numbers." Hamaker, who is not a defendant, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Adderall is a stimulant prescribed for attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. It can cause heart attacks, numbness in extremities and manic episodes marked by voices in one's head, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The federal government classifies Adderall as a Schedule II drug, with a high potential for abuse and some medical use. Cocaine, opium, methadone, oxycodone and phencyclidine aka angel dust are in the same class.

Davis acknowledges in the lawsuit that it was "poorly exercised judgment" for him to take the drug, which he says Hamaker pressured him to use almost every work day.

"Hamaker began supplying Adderall to plaintiff and the other finance managers almost daily and exerted a significant amount of pressure on them to take it," Davis says in the complaint.

It continues: "When plaintiff's health began deteriorating and he suffered heart-attack conditions, plaintiff determined he needed to stop taking the Adderall."

Davis says he came clean about his addiction, and the widespread Adderall use at the dealership, to its managing partner.

"Plaintiff also requested help and guidance to stop his Adderall use. Plaintiff received no response," he says in the complaint.

On his doctor's advice, Davis says, he asked for 30 days off for rehab and management authorized it.

Employers are required by law to keep employee health information confidential, but Davis says when he returned to work he "he quickly realized that his co-workers were aware of his treatment" because several asked him about it.

He says he overheard Hamaker and another finance manager discussing their need to fire him, and it did not take them long to find an excuse to do it.

"Plaintiff was leading a sales meeting in which he became animated in an effort to encourage and motivate his team. The meeting was nothing more than what one would see in a locker room at halftime of a football game. Plaintiff did not use any foul language," the complaint states.

But Hamaker and the dealership's general manager claimed Davis had used "foul language" in the meeting and fired him, Davis says.

"As a result of the unlawful termination, plaintiff has been out of work for 6 months and has been unable to obtain new employment," he says.

Davis wants punitive damages, front pay and back pay for disability discrimination.

He is represented by Dustin Paschal with Simon Paschal in Dallas.

The dealership is part of the empire of billionaire Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a holding company that prides itself on a diverse portfolio. Among its holdings are Fruit of the Loom, BNSF Railway and Dairy Queen.

Buffett entered the auto business in October 2014 with Berkshire Hathaway's purchase of Phoenix-based Van Tuyl Group, the largest privately owned auto dealer chain in the United States.

When the deal closed, Van Tuyl Group ranked No. 5 in sales among U.S. auto dealers, with around $9 billion in revenue, according to CNBC.

Berkshire Hathaway Automotive attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

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