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What is sexual favoritism?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2022 | Employment Law |

At this point, in our post-#metoo era, just about everyone is familiar with sexual harassment. Indeed, popular culture has told these horror stories and the brave women and men who fight back. However, what is less commonly known is sexual favoritism, which is another sexual harassment harm.

What is sexual favoritism?

Sexual favoritism refers to the employee benefits that a sexual harassment victim receives for sexual compliance and how that affects similarly qualified individuals. For example, if a Staten Island, New York, female co-worker receives a promotion because they performed sexual favors for the boss, and as a result, another qualified female employee was not awarded a promotion as they did not perform those sexual favors.

It has the same two types as sexual harassment

Just like sexual harassment, generally, illegal sexual favoritism is broken into two types: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo refers to situations where you are asked to do something sexual in exchange for some kind of employment benefit, like a raise or promotion (or just not getting fired). Hostile work environment refers to conduct that is so pervasive that it affects the entire work environment to the point where it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Quid pro quo

The example given above is a perfect example of quid pro quo sexual favoritism. Those Staten Island, New York, female employees who were qualified for the promotion did not receive the promotion because they told the boss no. This means that, to get that promotion, sexual favors were required, which is a different term of employment than those that their male co-workers face. As a result, the other female employees, even if they were not directly sexually harassed, can sue based on sexual favoritism. However, even where only one person is sexually harassed and receives a benefit as a result, both men and women who were qualified for that employment benefit could have a case of sexual favoritism.

Hostile environment harassment

In a more pervasive Staten Island, New York, case than the one used above, if that supervisor sexually harasses enough, or there are multiple sexually harassing employees, the sexual favoritism could rise to the level of creating a hostile work environment. In these situations, everyone in the workplace may have a case, regardless of whether they directly experienced sexual harassment themselves.