What is quid pro quo sexual harassment?
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an authority figure within a company demands, offers, or even hints that an employee will gain some kind of employment benefit in return for a sexual favor. It is illegal and a lawsuit can be pursued.
Quid pro quo means 'this for that'. Quid pro quo sexual harassment typically occurs between someone with a lot of power in the company and a subordinate.
This is because the person with power has the ability to give the subordinate benefits that are contingent upon fulfilling their requests. But supervisors also have the power to threaten subordinates with negative consequences as well.
What types of benefits do supervisors commonly offer in return for these sexual demands? In quid pro quo sexual harassment, supervisors typically offer subordinates promotions, raises, better work assignments or schedules, or positive work reviews, in return for sexual requests.
Supervisors can also threaten subordinates with negative consequences if they refuse to partake in the sexual demands. These negative employment consequences include job demotion, job loss, negative work reviews, and worse work assignments and schedules.
What can be done about quid pro quo sexual harassment?
Employees who are faced with this type of sexual harassment may have a lawsuit on their hands. They can sue their employer. The employer is the person legally liable in this case. They're liable for the actions of their supervisors or managers.
A quid pro quo sexual harassment case is different from a hostile work environment sexual harassment case. In a hostile work environment sexual harassment case, the employees work benefits do not have to be at risk for the employee to have a case. Additionally, in hostile work environment sexual harassment case employees who were not the direct target of the sexual harassment may also have a claim to the hostile work environment.