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What should employees know about quid pro quo harassment?

| Jul 7, 2020 | Sexual Harassment |

In almost every workplace, supervisors and managers hold a great deal of power. They may have input on hiring decisions, pay increases and even firing decisions. When they use that position of power to coerce other employees, though, this quid pro quo harassment can do serious damage to those employees’ careers.

What is quid pro quo sexual harassment?

Quid pro quo roughly translates to “something for something,” or “this for that.” In this type of harassment, a person in a position of power in the workplace offers an employee an employment opportunity or benefit in exchange for a sexual favor. For example, a supervisor may offer an employee a raise, but only if that employee goes on a date with them.

Quid pro quo harassment can also involve negative consequences for refusal. In an effort to coerce an employee, for example, their supervisor may threaten to demote them, cut their pay or end their employment contract altogether.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment can do long-term damage to your career.

Quid pro quo harassment can do real damage to the careers of those who experience it. Not only does it create a hostile work environment, but it can cut employees off from valuable career opportunities in the process.

As the American Bar Association notes, it is possible that employees are victims of harassment even if they do not refuse the offer made in the quid pro quo harassment. As long as the attention they received was unwanted or coercive, they can still take legal action against the person that harassed them.

If you have been a victim of quid pro quo harassment, your harasser is in violation of the law and should be held accountable. You may be eligible for compensation for lost wages as well as the pain and suffering you have experienced because of a hostile work environment.