Recognizing Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment in your Workplace

Recognizing Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment in your Workplace

There are two types of sexual harassment that can occur in the workplace: quid pro quo sexual harassment and harassment that creates a hostile work environment. The latter type functions much like harassment based on a victim’s race or religion, but instead targets him or her because of his or her sex, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Quid pro quo, Latin for “this for that” sexual harassment, is a bit different. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an individual in a supervisory position expects or demands subordinates to comply with his or her sexual advances in exchange for favorable treatment in the workplace. It is not always overt and sometimes, the advances are more romantic in nature than they are sexual. Regardless, it is a harmful form of sexual harassment that can hinder the victim’s career advancement. Use the questions below to determine if you are facing quid pro quo sexual harassment.

What Does your Employer Ask you to Do?

Pay close attention to the requests your employer makes of you and how they impact your relationship with him or her and treatment on the job. Actions that could be means of sexual harassment include:

  • Requesting that you wear certain outfits or style yourself a certain way at work beyond what is required by the company dress code;
  • Requests for dates, physical affection, and sexual contact;
  • Flirting on the job; and
  • Touching you without your consent.

What are the Rewards for Compliance and the Punishments for Noncompliance?

Quid pro quo is not just about requests made of the victim, but seeking compliance through them. Take a look at the results your behavior garners – does permitting your supervisor to touch you or flirt with you lead to a stronger relationship and better treatment on the job? Are employees who agree to romantic or sexual contact with the employer rewarded with raises, more flexible schedules, and greater advancement opportunities? If so, quid pro quo sexual harassment is being used in your workplace to manipulate employees.

What to Do if you are a Victim of Sexual Harassment

If you determine that you are a sexual harassment victim, head to Human Resources with all the documentation you have to support your claim. Discuss the situation with them and give them the chance to handle it. If Human Resources does not make the harassment stop, work with an experienced employment lawyer to file a sexual harassment claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Through this type of claim, you could potentially recover compensation for your damages related to the harassment.

Work with an Experienced Illinois Sexual Harassment Lawyer

You should never feel like you have to comply with an employer’s sexual advances in order to remain employed or move up in your career. If you are facing sexual harassment in your workplace, speak up about it and work with an experienced employment lawyer to pursue a sexual harassment claim. Contact The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline today to set up your initial consultation in our office.