Filing A Quid Pro Quo Harassment Claim

Sexual harassment at the workplace can affect your ability to function optimally and make the work environment very hostile, so you should certainly take action against it by reporting your harasser to your boss.

Unfortunately, the person who is sexually harassing you at work may be your manager/employer, or an individual who is in a position of power in the organization. This form of sexual harassment is often referred to as 'quid pro quo' harassment, which is Latin for 'something for something.' This article will focus on this particular type of sexual harassment to help you understand what it is and how you may be able to protect yourself against it. 

What is 'quid pro quo' harassment?

This refers to a type of workplace harassment where an individual with supervisory authority over a worker, be it an employer, supervisor or manager, ties certain benefits at work directly to the employee's acceptance of their sexual demands. Your ability to get and keep a job or even get promoted should hinge solely on your hard work and capability, and not on providing sexual favors to your employer.

Quid pro quo harassment may occur if your boss at work threatens to fire/demote you or withhold your pay or other financial benefits if you reject their sexual demands. You may also be a victim of such harassment if you are given an unfavorable evaluation or denied any opportunity at work after refusing sexual involvement with your employer/manager.

Filing a quid pro quo harassment claim

If you have been a victim of this type of workplace harassment, it is advisable that you hire an attorney who is conversant with employment law to help you file a claim. To win your sexual harassment case, you will need to present good evidence that the harasser tied some specific benefits at work to your acceptance of their sexual advances.

Your lawyer can help get witness accounts of the harassment, or interview the superior involved to get incriminating evidence that supports your claim. Proving this type of sexual harassment may be difficult, but it is usually up to the harasser to demonstrate that they did not engage in the harassment.

Your lawyer can help prove before a judge that you suffered direct harm - such as a demotion, exclusion from participation in a desirable work project, or withheld benefits - as a result of the harassment. If your claim is successful, you may get monetary compensation to cover lost wages, benefits, bonuses  and lost opportunities, as well as reinstatement to your former position (if fired). Additionally, you could get an injunction to stop the harassment, as well as recover punitive monetary damages from your harasser.