YCMTSU as Jersey Shore Meets FDNY

A reality TV star who was hired as an EMT for FDNY has filed a sexual harassment suit against the city and an EMS Lieutenant who reportedly groped her. Angelia Pivarnick filed suit this week claiming two male lieutenants subjected her to a sexually hostile work environment, including “unwelcome sexual advances, degrading comments about her body, vulgar sexual comments, inappropriate questions about her private relationships and, in one instance, the groping of an intimate part of her body without her consent.”

Pivarnick, who starred on the TV show Jersey Shore, joined FDNY in 2016. She claims Lieutenants Jonathan Schechter and David Rudnitzky sexually harassed her, and that she was retaliated against after complaining. The suit was filed the suit in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Schechter is named as a defendant, Rudnitzky is not.

Among the allegations:

  • Rudnitzky frequently made sexual comments to Pivarnick, both in front of Pivarnick’s co-workers and when no one else was present.
  • He often inquired about Pivarnick’s sex life, asking whether Pivarnick had “fucked [her] man,” or similar questions.
  • Rudnitzky also insinuated, falsely, that Pivarnick was promiscuous and that she was having sex with colleagues at work.
  • On one occasion, when a male EMT co-worker of Pivarnick left the room, leaving her alone with Rudnitzky, he said: “Make sure no fucking today.”
  • In or about the middle of March 2018, Rudnitzky asked Pivarnick, in front of one of Pivarnick’s male EMT colleagues: “How many guys on Jersey Shore have you fucked?”
  • Schechter incessantly subjected Pivarnick to unwelcome sexual advances, as well as comments about her body and physical appearance.
  • On August 21, 2017, in response to Pivarnick telling Schechter that she was suffering from back pain, he texted her: “At lpm you tell me where and I’ll come make you feel better lol”
  • On August 29, 2017, Schechter texted to Pivarnick that “And you still owe me something naughty…. and my offer that I’ve made to you time and time again still stands.”
  • On September 3, 2017, Schechter texted to Pivarnick: “And just so you know … I have not fucked anyone from EMS yet… let alone the the [sic] station.”
  • On September 15, 2017, Schechter texted Pivarnick: “Your ass looked amazing and I wish I wasn’t working or in uniform because I definitely would’ve kissed those amazing lips.”
  • On May 3, 2018, Schechter texted to Pivarnick: “I’m going to make you one day” and “smoking is bad! I can relieve your stress in much more efficient ways.” Pivarnick asked Schechter if he wanted coffee, and he replied: “No I want you!”
  • Later that day, when Pivarnick met Schechter in a parking lot outside of the station, he grabbed and squeezed her buttocks, putting his hand so low that he also made contact with her vaginal area.

Here is a copy of the complaint:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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