What Is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

woman with her shoulder being touchedSexual harassment is a serious problem in workplaces across Texas, and eliminating sexual harassment at work requires efforts from employers and employees. In other words, the problem isn't likely to simply go away.

"Quid pro quo" is one form of sexual harassment. "Quid pro quo" means "something for something," and in terms of sexual harassment, quid pro quo means you are being offered something in exchange for doing sexual favors. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is also illegal.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment could happen at any point in the employment process.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment could occur before a person is hired or during the course of their employment. The main thing that matters here is that someone who had the ability to offer a specific benefit said or implied that a sexual act was necessary to reap the benefit. Typically, this form of sexual harassment is associated with a person who is in a position of power, such as a supervisor.

Verbal, Physical or Implied

The way that quid pro quo harassment is presented varies from case to case. The harasser might speak the offer, such as "if you perform this sexual act, you can have a promotion." Many cases don't involve anything that blatant. Instead, quid pro quo may be implied. For example, a scheduling manager might rub the shoulders of an employee while asking if that employee would like a more desirable shift.

Quid Pro Quo and Workplace Retaliation

Unfortunately, sometimes victims of this kind of harassment are retaliated against for refusing the offer or rebuking unwanted advancements. This could mean being placed on a less desirable shift, being fired or not getting a promotion. Make no mistake: this kind of workplace retaliation is also illegal.

Taking Legal Action

Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace often puts employees in the unfair position of having to choose between standing up for their own rights and keeping their jobs.

If you have been subjected to sexual harassment of any kind, including quid pro quo, you can take legal action to put an end to the harassment. If your employer fails to take the proper steps to remedy the problem, you should speak with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible. The action you take could help prevent the harassment of others, and you may be entitled to compensation for the harassment you have endured at work.