Judge Rules That Lifting Your Bum And Farting On Someone Isn't Bullying
A judge in Australia has ruled in favour of a boss who lifted his buttocks and farted on an employee in a landmark employment case.
The judge said that farting on an employee does not necessarily constitute bullying, reports the Metro.
David Hingst brought the case against his former employer, Construction Engineering, to the Victoria Supreme Court saying that his boss used to break wind on him and in front of him. He did this with such frequency that Hingst had nicknamed him 'Mr Stinky'.
He the company to court in a £900,000 trial and accused them of unfair dismissal and workplace bullying.
In his defence, the boss - Greg Short - reportedly said: "Look, I don't recall doing it, but I may have done it once or twice, maybe.
"I don't recall doing so, so I'm not flat out saying I didn't or I did. I just can't remember doing it."
He also argued that whether or not he did it, he didn't mean to cause offence.
Putting aside the question of whether you can fart on someone without being offensive (pro tip: you can't) these weren't the key allegations in the case.
Mr Hingst said that he was not invited to work social events and was insulted by his boss, who he said called him an 'idiot poofter' and said he made 'shit coffee'.
During the case another former employee testified to having witnessed the farting, but said that he did not take offence from it.
Phillip Hamilton said the farting was 'typical banter or mucking around'.
He said that cultural differences were probably to blame for the manner in which Mr Hingst interpreted the situation.
He continued: "But then obviously realising it was [Mr Hingst] being of German descent, whereas us Australians are sort of brought up you sort of accept it or think oh it's just - that's what happens.
"But [Mr Hingst] was always quite often offended when that happened."
Despite that testimony, Justice Zammitt ruled that Mr Hingst was making the claim as an act of vengeance after being angry at losing his job.
She also said that if Mr Hingst had not had his contract terminated he would not have made the claim against Mr Short and the company.
Instead, she found that the company had dismissed him due to a legitimate redundancy and gave the verdict in favour of the company.
The court report said: "The plaintiff's unfair dismissal claim is without merit for the simple reason that it was a genuine redundancy and the deed of release was lawfully executed."
Still, it's probably a good idea not to accept this as precedent to fart on people at work. You'll do more harm than good, trust me.
Featured Image Credit: PA