What You Can Do About Quid pro Quo Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment makes people feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, afraid, and angry. If you feel this way, you may be a victim of sexual harassment. It’s important to understand what type of sexual harassment you’re experiencing, so you can take the correct steps in getting what you deserve.

About Quid pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Quid pro quo harassment is a form of sexual harassment in which an employer asks you for a sexual favor in exchange for something that benefits you in your employment.

An example of quid pro quo sexual harassment is:

Sarah has been in her current position for a few years. She’s done well and receives positive performance reviews. One day, her boss calls her into his office, and tells her about an upcoming promotion that will include a large raise. He tells her that she is the best candidate for the job. She gets excited about the opportunity because she feels she deserves it. Before the boss lets her tell him how happy she is, he says, “There is one other person we could choose for this job, but it will definitely be yours if you sleep with me.” At this point, she asks, “What if I don’t?” He responds, “Well, you won’t get the promotion.”

You can be a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment even before you’re hired. Read this story:

Doreen applied for a job she knew would be perfect for her because she has the skills and years of experience they require. She goes to the interview and it goes really well. She notices the employer is smiling a lot, complimenting her, and seems interested in her. She’s excited about the possibility of getting the call she’s been hired. A couple days later, Doreen receives a call from the employer. He tells her that he loved speaking with her, and she seems to have everything he’s looking for in an employee. He says he’s interested in hiring her, but would like to talk about it over drinks, dinner, and more. When she questions what he means by more, he tells her he’s interested in spending the night together. He then says if she wants the position bad enough, she’ll do it.

These are both examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has established guidelines for identifying quid pro quo sexual harassment to help victims. If submission to unwelcome sexual advances is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, or used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual, the elements of quid pro quo sexual harassment are met. Once an employee establishes these elements, the burden falls on the employer to prove that the alleged harassment either did not occur or that it was for non-sexual reasons.

Victims of sexual harassment can be awarded compensatory damages. In some cases, when the supervisor’s conduct is particularly egregious, outrageous, or offensive, a plaintiff will be awarded punitive damages.

Reporting Harassment: What to Do if You’re a Victim

Quid pro quo sexual harassment robs workers of their dignity and can make the workplace a traumatic environment. If you believe you are the victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment in the workplace, contact an experienced lawyer right away. The Law Offices of John J. Zidziunas & Associates has an experienced team of New York and New Jersey quid pro quo sexual harassment lawyers ready to help you. For more information, please call us at 973-509-8500, email info@jjzlawfirm.com or visit our webpage at http://www.employmentdiscrimination.com.