The reality TV star worked as an EMT on Staten Island from 2016-2018 and, during that time, said one supervisor made unwelcome physical and verbal sexual advances while another made vulgar comments about her sex life. She sued in 2019 and FDNY settled with Pivarnick for $350,000 in 2020.
During a dinner with The Situation's wife Lauren Sorrentino on Thursday's new episode of her MTV reality show, Pivarnick spoke about what she went through.
"It's literally everywhere and it's been a whole year of dealing with lawyers and having to rehash it," she explained. "To other people, being an EMT is nothing, but I wanted to help people for a living and right away, lieutenants were saying disgusting things to me and literally one of them touched me."
In the suit, she claimed one lieutenant "grabbed and squeezed her buttock ... and made contact with her vaginal area." After she stood up to him, she was allegedly given bad assignments and cleanup duty. The other man, she says, would ask her, "How many guys on 'Jersey Shore' have you f--ked?'"
"Every time I'd go to work, I'd do the sign of the cross before walking in," she told Lauren. "It was very hard for me to be in that situation and be the person receiving it. I kept going and I had to say something, I couldn't take it any more."
Explaining that the alleged harassment went on for two years, Pivarnick said she went to a therapist to speak about her treatment and "even opening up to her about it was hard."
"I think I let all the weight of my life weigh me down. I'm happy that now, I can put it behind me," she added.
"It was hard for me, because nobody really understands that," she continued. "The boys, I didn't really get into it with them because they're guys, they don't know how it is to be a woman."
After the settlement, a spokesperson for the city's Law Department said, "The FDNY takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously. Ms. Pivarnick's claim was fully investigated, and the appropriate corrective action was taken. This settlement was in the best interests of the city."
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