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Understanding quid pro quo sexual harassment at work

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Sexual Harassment |

Everyone has a right to a safe and harassment-free workplace. Unfortunately, despite several state and federal laws and campaigns, sexual harassment is still rampant at work. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, you need to take action

Quid pro quo harassment basically happens when someone in a position of power offers an employee or potential employee certain favors in return for sexual relations. 

Examples of quid pro quo

Here are clear examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment:

  • The hiring manager seeking sexual favors to hire or promote an employee
  • A manager issuing threats of termination, demotion or transfer if the employee does not yield to their demand for a sexual favor
  • An employer taking an employee on vacation with the expectation that the employee will repay with a sexual favor

Quid pro quo may also occur when a supervisor promises an employee that they will not be reprimanded if they give in to sexual demands. 

Elements of quid pro quo harassment

Here are important elements that the court will need to establish to prove quid pro quo:

  • That they had an employee-employer relationship with the defendant
  • The defendant was in a position of authority over the plaintiff
  • The defendant made sexual advances against the plaintiff or engage in behaviors that are sexual in nature.
  • The job benefit was subject to the plaintiff’s acceptance of sexual demands
  • The hiring decision was influenced by the plaintiff’s acceptance or rejection of sexual advances
  • The unwarranted conducted resulted in harm to the plaintiff

Sexual harassment hurts the victim’s morale and productivity. It also hurts the organization’s reputation. Find out how you can protect your rights while pursuing a sexual harassment claim against the defendant. 

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