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What is quid pro quo harassment and how can you prove it?

Every employee deserves a safe and fair work environment. And most employers take appropriate steps to make this goal a reality. However, it is not uncommon for employees to report incidents of sexual harassment at work.

One of the most subtle, yet devastating, forms of sexual harassment at work is referred to as quid pro quo harassment. Left unaddressed, quid pro quo can have detrimental effects on the affected employee and the organization alike.

What is quid pro quo harassment?

Quid pro quo is Latin for “something in return for another favor.” In the context of sexual harassment at work, this means a promise of employment-related benefits in exchange for a romantic relationship, sexual favors, etc.

Just like a hostile work environment, quid pro quo is often perpetrated by someone in a position of authority. An example of quid pro quo would be if your supervisor promises a favorable performance review if you yield to their sexual demands or if the recruitment manager promises you a job offer on condition that you date them.

For a quid pro quo lawsuit to be successful, you must satisfy the following elements:

  • That you were employed or seeking employment
  • That the perpetrator made unwanted sexual advances toward you
  • That certain job benefits were incumbent on your acceptance or rejection of the advances
  • That you suffered specific harm as a result

It is important to understand that even if you gave in to the perpetrator’s sexual advances, you may still be in a position to file a claim.

Safeguarding your interests

Building a quid pro quo pro sexual harassment case can be a complicated process especially if you are unfamiliar with the law. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about California and federal labor laws can help you protect your rights and interests while filing a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim.

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