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What does quid pro quo look like at work?

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2022 | Sexual Harassment |

A hostile work environment impacts employees in a variety of ways. It also hurts the organization’s bottom line as well as its reputation. Unfortunately, despite several laws and awareness campaigns, sexual harassment still happens at work. And one type of sexual harassment at work is quid pro quo

Basically, quid pro quo (Latin for “a favor in return for something”) is a type of workplace sexual harassment that dictates certain terms of your employment on your willingness to give in to the perpetrator’s sexual advances. For instance, your supervisor might make this proposition to you, “I will give you a positive performance appraisal if you date me.” 

Here’s what you should look for:

Elements of quid pro quo

To successfully prove quid pro quo sexual harassment, certain elements must be met. Here are some of these elements:

  • There was an employment relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. 
  • The perpetrator made an unwelcome sexual advance or comment toward the victim
  • The perpetrator implicitly or explicitly offered conditions that impacted (directly or otherwise) the victim’s employment status
  • The perpetrator was a supervisor, manager or someone in a position of power within the organization or was capable of influencing decisions
  • The victim was emotionally or physically harmed by the perpetrator’s actions

Basically, the court will want proof that the perpetrator’s actions were somehow tied to your job or the position you were seeking in the organization. This could mean a potential hire, termination, pay rise or promotion. 

When you leave your home for work, the last thing you want is to have to put up with any form of harassment or discrimination at the hands of your supervisor or colleagues. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, you need to explore your legal options.