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What is quid pro quo sexual harassment?

| May 21, 2021 | Employment Law |

Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem that affects many New York workers. It is an unfortunate truth that workers who suffer from this preventable form of trauma do not receive the support and guidance that they need to end their harassment. Because of this, workers who suffer sexual harassment can choose to seek the advice and counsel of employment law attorneys in their communities.

The law recognizes two forms of sexual harassment, and this post will focus on quid pro quo harassment. As with all other posts on this blog, readers are reminded not to use the information contained herein as legal advice. This post’s contents are informational and should be used as a starting point for further investigation into sexual harassment claims.

Harassment based on an exchange

Unlike hostile work environment harassment which can involve cultures of sexually inappropriate conduct at work, quid pro quo harassment happens between a supervisor and their employee. The term “quid pro quo” means “this for that” and this form of sexual harassment is premised on an exchange between the harasser and the victim. For example, a supervisor may condition an employee’s raise on that employee’s acquiescence to a sexual favor for the supervisor.

Addressing sexual harassment at work

Many employment organizations have anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies on their books. However, not all employees follow their employment rules and some individuals suffer due to the inappropriate and offensive actions of others. When a victim suffers quid pro quo harassment at work, they should follow the appropriate channels of reporting within their employment organization.

It can also be beneficial to victims of quid pro quo harassment to speak with employment law attorneys about their rights. While some employment organizations may take victims’ claims seriously, others may ignore or attempt to cover up claims of harassment within their workplaces. A strong legal advocate who works in the employment law field can stand up for their client and help them overcome the damages they have suffered due to their victimization from workplace sexual harassment.