“Quid pro quo” sexual harassment uses terminology from ancient Latin that means “something for something.” As such, quid pro quo harassment refers to an instance where a superior offers something in exchange for a sexual favor.
Quid pro quo harassment also refers to a superior threatening that an employee will be fired or punished for not performing a sexual service. Or, a superior might offer a job applicant employment in exchange for sexual favors.
An example of quid pro quo harassment
Imagine you’re applying for a job at an accounting firm. During the interview, the hiring manager inappropriately touches you and says, “You know you could have this job right now if you want.”
The combination of inappropriate touching and the offer of the job creates the implication that if the applicant complies with the sexual advance, he or she will get the job. This is quid pro quo sexual harassment because something was offered to the employee if he or she performs a sexual favor.
How do you prove that quid pro quo harassment occurred?
There are several elements that victims of quid pro quo sexual harassment will need to prove in court to prevail in a damage claim. These elements are:
— You applied for a job or were an employee of the defendant company.
— An employee of the company made a sexual advance to the plaintiff that was unwanted, or the employee committed unwanted sexual conduct, verbally or physically, against the employee.
— The harasser conditioned job benefits or threatened consequences connected to the performance of sexual favors, or connected to the acceptance of the harasser’s advances.
— The harasser was an agent or supervisor at the company.
— The harasser’s conduct resulted in harm to the plaintiff.
Seek financial compensation for quid pro quo sexual harassment
Victims of quid pro quo sexual harassment can put a stop to the abuse immediately. They can also seek financial compensation in court. By discussing your situation with an employment law attorney, you can learn more about your legal rights and options in this regard.