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What Is Quid Pro Quo Harassment?

October 28, 2021 Legal Team

You’ve likely heard the term quid pro quo before. In Latin, quid pro quo translates to “something for something.” Continue reading to learn how this term relates to unlawful workplace sexual harassment.

A Breakdown of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Essentially, at work, quid pro quo harassment occurs when a superior or another figure of authority offers or even just suggests that he or she will provide the employee with something they want (typically a raise or a promotion) in return for sexual favors.

Additionally, this includes when a superior promises not to fire or force an employee to face consequences as long as he or she provides some sort of sexual advance.

Quid pro quo harassment is not merely reserved for employees. Job applicants may also face this kind of harassment if the decision to hire him or her is based on accepting or rejecting sexual acts.

For example, a male restaurant manager who interviews a female job applicant as a host puts his hand on her leg. She feels uncomfortable, so she interjects. In doing so, he asks her, “I thought you wanted this job?” He is implying that she will only be hired if she cooperates with his sexual advances.

How to Prove Quid Pro Quo Harassment in Court

In order for a quid pro quo harassment case to be viable in court, you must be able to prove the following elements to a jury:

  • You were an employee of, or applied for a position with, the company.
  • The assumed harasser, an agent or employee of the company, made undesired sexual advances toward you, or conducted other undesired verbal or physical behavior that is sexual in nature.
  • You were offered—verbally or otherwise—conditional job benefits based on accepting the assumed harasser’s sexual conduct, or decisions regarding your employment were made as a result of your compliance or refusal of the sexual behavior.
  • When the professed sexual acts occurred, your harasser was a supervisor or officer for the company.
  • You sustained harm as a result of the conduct.
  • Your harasser’s actions were a significant element in causing harm to you.

If you’ve experienced sexual harassment at work, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions.

Contact our team of skilled attorneys today with the details of your case by calling (949) 379-6250 or by filling out the online contact form.