Labor & Employment

Was it a stinker of a decision? Employee appeals after judge rules farting wasn't workplace bullying

  • Print

man with pinched nose

Photo by file404/

A former contract administrator with an Australian construction firm in Melbourne wants an appeals court to reinstate his lawsuit of $1.28 million in U.S. currency ($1.8 million in Australian currency) claiming his boss bullied him by repeatedly farting on him.

The Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal heard the case of laid-off employee David Hingst on Monday, report (in a story noted by the Washington Post) and the BBC.

He is seeking the money for the psychiatric injuries he said he suffered while working at the company, Construction Engineering.

Hingst, 56, claims he didn’t get a fair trial before the Supreme Court of Victoria judge who ruled against him.

Hingst had contended that the farting supervisor and other corporate officials were trying to marginalize him and force him out of the company, according to prior coverage by The supervisor would regularly “lift his bum and fart” on him, Hingst had alleged.

Hingst had dubbed the supervisor “Mr. Stinky” and sprayed deodorant on him, according to trial testimony cited by

Hingst also had claimed that his supervisor bullied him by telling him on a phone call that he wasn’t worth his salary.

Hingst’s supervisor had testified at trial that he might have farted “once or twice, maybe,” but he doesn’t recall doing it. The judge cited testimony from another employee that there was some inappropriate behavior at the office, including passing wind, but it was “typical banter or mucking around.”

The Court of Appeal ruling is expected Friday.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.