What Is Quid Pro Quo Harassment?
Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyer Explains Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
The phrase “quid pro quo” is Latin for “this for that”, or exchanging something to receive something in return. As it relates to employment law in California — and on the federal level — quid pro quo is a form of sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature”. Quid pro quo can also be blackmail. For example, this occurs when a supervisor uses his or her position of authority against an employee. The supervisor then requests that the employee perform sexual favors in exchange for employment-related benefits.
The Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. have more than 100 years of combined legal experience protecting the rights of workers in California. We understand how to put a stop to all types of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace. It is your legal right as a worker to feel safe on the job and as an everyday citizen going about your day. When a manager threatens this safety by making unwanted sexual advances in return for a pay raise, advancement within the company or keeping your job, for example, you may pursue legal action with the help of a California sexual harassment attorney in a quid pro quo harassment case.
What Are the Different Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Federal EEOC guidelines regarding the Discrimination Because of Sex (29 C.F.R. Section 1604.11) defines two different kinds of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo – Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when “submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual”.
- Hostile working environment – To be considered a hostile workplace by California employment laws, the presence of harassment must be pervasive (widespread) to the point that the victim(s) and others find abusive and feel threatened. Harassment can be defined as any type of behavior that a reasonable person would view as intimidating, hostile or offensive.
All forms of sexual harassment, including quid pro quo sexual harassment, are illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, to win quid pro quo hostile work environment cases, workers must have experienced severe or pervasive effects on their employment. These in turn then created the hostile workplace environment.
How do you build a strong quid pro quo sexual harassment case? Your employment attorney must determine if the sexual conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a quid pro quo hostile work environment. This is the case whether the conduct occurred once or several times. If you have more specific questions about your own circumstances, then please contact our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers for more information.
How Do I Prove A Hostile Work Environment in California?
If you feel that you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace in California, you should:
- Report the activity to your manager or employer as soon as possible.
- Take detailed notes of the date you reported the offense. Additionally, include the events and the actions (or lack of actions) management took to resolve the situation.
- If the hostility continues, then speak with witnesses. Perhaps they are experiencing the same harassment. Or, maybe they witnessed such behavior happening to you or another person.
- Speak with our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers to find out all of your legal options.
When putting together a lawsuit, your California employment lawyer will consider:
- The degree, frequency and nature of the harassment. Again, the harassment has to pose a threat level high enough to be considered a hostile workplace in California.
- Was the harassment based on age, sex, gender, race or another protected characteristic?
- How severe or physically threatening was the harassment?
- Did the appropriate conduct distract you from your job responsibilities? Did it affect your work performance?