Sexual harassment is a serious problem in workplaces all across the country. The types of harassment that victims suffer can differ greatly. While some Pennsylvanians may be subjected to direct and obvious comments of a sexual nature, others may experience a form of sexual harassment that is considerably more overt.
Quid pro quo harassment happens when a supervisor or person with authority attaches a sexual favor to a subordinate’s attainment of a work benefit. This post will explore quid pro quo harassment and what victims can do to protect themselves. This post does not offer any legal advice or guidance.
Defining quid pro quo harassment
Sexual harassment in all forms is demeaning and wrongful. It can erode a victim’s ability to do their work and live as they desire. Quid pro quo harassment involves manipulation of the power balance between a worker and a superior to create a damaging work environment.
An example of quid pro quo harassment could be as follows. An employee learns that they are under consideration for a promotion. Their boss, the individual responsible for choosing the candidate to receive the promotion, asks the employee to join them on a date. The boss states that the employee’s decision to attend the date may impact their chances of getting the promotion. Quid pro quo harassment effectively means “something for something” or an exchange of a harassing and wrongful nature.
Addressing quid pro quo harassment in the workplace
Any form of sexual harassment can make work unbearable for a victim. Many victims suffer in silence out of fear that they will lose their employment and their ability to support their families. Sexual harassment does not have to be tolerated, and victims can seek assistance from knowledgeable employment law attorneys.
When quid pro quo harassment happens at work, a victim may have options for addressing their concerns. They should know, however, that different timelines may impact their claims and that they may have a variety options for seeking redress for the harm they have suffered. Their attorney can advise them of how best to protect their rights.