FDNY to pay $350K to former EMT, reality show star in sexual harassment suit
Former FDNY EMT Angelina Pivarnick, who appeared on the TV show "Jersey Shore," alleged that a lieutenant sent her sexually explicit text messages and groped her
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
NEW YORK — New York City will pay $350,000 to a star of the “Jersey Shore” reality show over claims a superior sexually harassed her while working as an FDNY EMT in Rossville.
Angelina Pivarnick sued the city last year claiming a Lieutenant repeatedly sent sexually explicit text messages, received inappropriate comments, and was groped during her time working with EMS Battalion 23.
FDNY-EMS Lt. Jonathan Schechter was named in the suit for his behavior, which culminated in an alleged groping incident on May 3, 2018.
As a result of that alleged incident, Pivarnick filed a complaint with the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEO) on May 17, 2018 alleging that Schechter had created a sexually hostile work environment.
Before the alleged groping, Pivarnick claims Schechter’s harassment began in August 2017 with sexually explicit text messages like one sent Sept. 15, 2017.
“Your ass looked amazing and I wish I wasn’t working or in uniform because I definitely would’ve kissed those amazing lips,” Schechter allegedly texted the former MTV reality star.
The lawsuit claims Pivarnick repeatedly made it clear that she was not interested in a physical relationship, but tried to remain friendly with Schechter, because she feared he and other superiors would retaliate against her in the work place if she was not.
According to the lawsuit, the FDNY EEO sent Pivarnick a letter on March 25, 2019 saying it had found “sufficient credible and corroborating evidence that Lieutenant Schechter engaged in the discriminatory conduct alleged.”
City Law Department spokesman Nick Paolucci said the settlement was in the city’s best interest.
“The FDNY takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously," he said. "Ms. Pivarnick’s claim was fully investigated, and the appropriate corrective action was taken.”
©2020 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.