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What constitutes quid pro quo workplace sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2023 | Employment Law

You may have been looking forward to a promotion at your job owing to a stellar performance, only to find out that your employer wants “something else,” like your sexual favors, in order to make that happen. 

This is called quid pro quo sexual harassment and is one of the two types of workplace sexual harassment identified by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). It can be disconcerting, to say the least, and you may experience a range of negative effects, including psychological distress, reduced job satisfaction, and decreased performance.

Elements of quid pro quo sexual harassment

Certain elements must be present in a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim:

  • First, the other party wielded some power or authority over you when the harassment occurred. It could be your current or potential employer or supervisor.
  • Second, they must have made unwanted and unsolicited sexual advances physically or verbally, a rejection of which would seemingly deny you certain employment benefits. Such harassment can be overt or subtle, and they need not directly ask for sexual favors.
  • Lastly, you must have suffered harm as a result of their actions. For instance, you may have endured emotional stress or missed out on a deserving job opportunity after declining the sexual advances.

What can you do about it?

There is no room for any form of harassment in the workplace. As a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, you may file a harassment claim against your employer and recover damages for the harm or losses suffered.

It is best to seek experienced legal guidance on what to do when bringing such a claim to ensure you get the justice you deserve and hold the perpetrator accountable.