The male-on-male sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a South Bend, Indiana firefighter in February, 2009 has been dismissed. Firefighter John Banacki claimed that a male firefighter rubbed up against him in a sexual manner on at least three occasions in 2007 while the two worked together at Station 6.
Banacki alleged that when he complained to superiors about the inappropriate behavior, he was further discriminated against and transferred. He filed suit in Federal District Court claiming that the behavior and retaliation created a sexually hostile work environment.
Magistrate Christopher Nuechterlein dismissed the suit law week, concluding that:
"In light of the admittedly bawdy humor and practical jokes that Banacki and other firefighters at Station 6 engaged in … it is hard to accept Banacki’s claim that he found the particular incident directed at him to be so beyond the pale of accepted conduct that the incident changed the conditions of his work environment, or that he actually found it offensive."
Magistrate Nuechterlein also found that the department responded appropriately to the complaint by promptly investigating the allegations. He rejected the retaliation allegation, finding that Banacki was content with the transfer and suffered no financial loss.
Read the decision: Download Banacki v South Bend – Copy