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How is quid pro quo harassment different? 

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Sexual Harassment |

Numerous types of sexual harassment can take place. Often, it’s just one person exhibiting power over another. For example, a coworker could make disparaging remarks about someone’s gender or a supervisor could repeatedly pester someone about their looks or ask them for a date – even though they’ve already said no.

One specific type of harassment is known as quid pro quo, however, and it is a bit different. With this type of sexual harassment, the harasser proposes a trade. They want to make an exchange where they get a sexual relationship with the other person, and that person benefits in another way. They are doing this to put pressure on the other individual and manipulate them into the relationship.

Getting a raise or a promotion

One example of this would be if someone’s supervisor is in charge of raises or promotions. They know that the employee is up for a raise, has applied for the promotion or is generally looking to increase their earnings. They tell that person that they will approve the raise in exchange for sexual favors at work. This is quid pro quo sexual harassment because they are exchanging the relationship for career advancement.

There can often be a negative component to this, as well. If the harasser is in a position of power, the employee that is being harassed may worry about losing their job if they refuse. So their decision is not just about getting financial benefits for themselves; they are trying to prevent illegal retaliation and the termination of their position.

As you can see, situations like this can become very complex. It’s important for all involved to understand exactly what legal steps to take.

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