When many people think of sexual harassment in the workplace, the type that comes to mind is quid pro quo sexual harassment. There are two broad categories of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment. Both can cause victims to suffer financial damages like lost wages and missed promotions.
Both types of sexual harassment are illegal. Both are also grounds for sexual harassment claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Through this type of claim, a victim can recover compensation for their financial damages related to the harassment. In certain cases, they can also recover punitive damages from offenders. These are damages meant to punish offenders for excessively harmful behavior and discourage that type of behavior in the future.
“This for That”
The term “quid pro quo” is a Latin phrase that can be translated as “this for that” or “something for something.” In legal parlance, it refers to the type of sexual harassment that occurs when a manager or another individual in a privileged position offers or expects to provide a subordinate with favorable treatment in exchange for sexual contact or a romantic relationship. The favorable treatment offered can include promotions, raises, a more flexible schedule, protection from disciplinary measures or layoffs, access to certain accounts or other resume-building opportunities, and positive performance reviews. Job applicants can also experience quid pro quo sexual harassment when they are offered positions in exchange for sexual contact with the interviewer.
Elements Present in a Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Claim
Simply claiming to have experienced quid pro quo sexual harassment is not enough for a victim to recover compensation. A valid quid pro quo sexual harassment claim provides sufficient evidence to prove the following:
- The claimant was employed by the company where the alleged harassment occurred or applied for a job with the company
- The alleged harasser, who could be an employee or officer of the company, made unwanted sexual advances on the claimant. These could be physical or verbal advances
- Specific benefits were tied to the claimant’s compliance with the defendant’s advances. Similarly, the claimant can also show that their negative treatment was tied to their refusal to comply with the alleged harasser’s requests or actions
- When the alleged sexual harassment occurred, the defendant was in a supervisory position at the company
- The claimant suffered specific harm because of the defendant’s actions
- The claimant would not have been harmed or would have suffered substantially less harm if the defendant’s alleged actions had not occurred
Evidence to support this type of claim can include meeting notes, emails, voice mails, and testimonies from the claimant’s coworkers. Even if the employee complied with the harasser’s requests, they can still file a sexual harassment claim and recover compensation for their resulting damages.
Montgomery County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Represent Victims Seeking Compensation Related to Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
When quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs, all members of a company suffer. If you have experienced quid pro quo sexual harassment in your workplace, fill out our online form or call 215-569-1999 to schedule your initial consultation with a Montgomery County sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our office is located in Philadelphia and we serve clients from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.