How to Know You’re a Victim of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Photo of a Female Employee Overhearing Verbal Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace has been a common topic of discussion in the news and media. Most people basically know how to look out for this type of harassment, and they can spot the signs pretty clearly from their employer. However, there is a specific kind of sexual harassment that is more difficult to understand because it can be confused with other types of harassment. “Quid pro quo” harassment is literally defined as “something for something” or “this for that,” but there’s much more that is involved in this type of harassment that employees should be aware of.

What Does Quid Pro Quo Harassment Mean?

This type of harassment is where the plaintiff proves that a legitimate employment action, such as termination or cut wages, has resulted from a refusal to perform a supervisor or employer’s sexual demands. In other words, this harassment is usually involving some sort of sexual “favor” or exchange. This harassment can be confused with a hostile work environment claim; the difference is that quid pro quo cases involve “tangible” employment actions, whereas hostile work environments will usually have a general abusive working environment. The employment actions included in a quid pro quo harassment claim can either be beneficial or detrimental to the plaintiff. This means that the alleged harasser could have threatened to negatively affect the plaintiff’s employment, but they could also have falsely promised additional job benefits in exchange for the unwanted sexual demands.

How Can I Recover?

A plaintiff can recover compensation for any lost wages, lost benefits, or any other lost employment opportunities relating to the harassment he or she experienced. The plaintiff can also claim damages relating to emotional distress and trauma, and punitive damages can be rewarded in very extreme cases. If you have suffered quid pro quo sexual harassment in your workplace, contact us today for a free evaluation so you can receive compensation and get the help you deserve.