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Identifying Quid Pro Quo Harassment


When you first met your manager, you had no concerns about the quality of his character. However, as the months passed, you noticed that his behavior was changing towards you. He would linger at your desk, make slight physical passes, but nothing that was terribly alarming. That is until he called you into his office, propositioning you for sex, and in return, you would get a raise, so long as no one found out.

Encounters like this may not happen every day, but people in power using sexual favors as a means to get a form of employment benefit does. This act is known as quid pro quo sexual harassment and if you believe you are a victim of it, there are a few things you need to know.

Difference Between Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

In cases of quid pro quo sexual harassment, an employer will request an exchange in return for an employment benefit based upon the employee doing the sexual demand. The “favor” may offer a raise, promotion, new title, or positive employment review. However, the employer may also threaten negative action for not complying with the sexual request. This may be getting fired, demoted, or even retaliating against the employee for refusal to submit.

While quid pro quo sexual harassment may be a one-time-thing, hostile work environments happen over time. In addition, a hostile work environment can occur because of another employee at any level whereas quid pro quo sexual harassment must have a perpetrator who is of a greater role of authority than the victim.

These events are often difficult to prove, but not impossible.

Proving Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment and Who To Hold Accountable

In order to prove you are a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, you must prove:

  • 1. The person of authority made an unwelcome advance or otherwise sexually harassed you and,
  • 2. That some aspect of your job was conditioned on based on your response.

Remember, the condition propositioned can be positive or negative and is not dependent on the fact that you did or did not do it.

In most cases, the employer is held to strict liability when a supervisor engages in quid pro quo harassment. This means you will not only legally go after the person who did this, but the company for letting it happen.

Contact the Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Attorneys Today

Your worth as an employee is not dictated by your willingness to submit to vile acts at the hands of your employer. But if it happens to you, know that you do not have to stand by and take the repercussions.

If you are a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, contact the sexual harassment attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam. We will fight to protect your rights. Your voice matters. Let us elevate it.