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What is quid pro quo sexual harassment in the workplace?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2023 | Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace can take many forms, but one particularly insidious yet rampant type is known as quid pro quo harassment. The Latin term loosely translates to ‘this for that’, and it accurately describes the dynamics of this type of harassment.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor, manager or another person in a position of power demands sexual favors in exchange for job benefits, such as promotions, pay raises or even continued employment.

Examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment

Quid pro quo harassment can take many different forms, but some common examples include;

  • A supervisor who asks an employee to go out on a date with them in exchange for a promotion or pay raise
  • A manager who threatens to fire an employee unless they engage in sexual activity with them
  • A co-worker who suggests that they will help an employee with a project or task in exchange for sexual favors

Regardless of the circumstances, quid pro quo sexual harassment is unacceptable and illegal. It creates a hostile work environment and puts the victim in an incredibly difficult and uncomfortable position.

Take appropriate action

You should act and protect your rights if you experience this or other forms of sexual harassment at your workplace. An excellent place to start would be gathering the necessary evidence, such as communication records or testimony from your colleagues.

Next, you should report the case to your employer. Follow through with your job’s anti-harassment policy and procedure for making such complaints. If you do not find a reprieve or experience retaliation for making a harassment claim, it may be time to explore your legal options.

You may file a harassment claim with the relevant regulatory agencies or in court to hold your employer accountable and recover any harm or loss you suffered due to the harassment.