Despite being an issue that has been in the public eye for a significant period of time, sexual harassment persists in the workplace. Both women and men are subject to harassing behaviors on a daily basis, which can disrupt nearly every aspect of their lives. It can affect their employment, their financial wellbeing, and even their emotional stability. Yet, far too often people are afraid to speak out against sexual harassment and those who subject them to it. One reason why is because they simply don’t know whether sexual harassment has actually occurred.
This week, let’s look at quid pro quo sexual harassment so that you have a better idea of what it is and what you can do about it. Quid pro quo exists in two forms. The first occurs when promised employment advantages, like a promotion or raise, is offered only in exchange for a sexual favor. The second type of quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when negative action is threatened with the promise not to follow through with such action only if a sexual favor is given.
In both instances, though, denying sexual favors can lead to adverse employment decisions. You might face reduced hours, a wage cut, a less favorable job assignment, or even termination. This is wholly unacceptable.
The good news is that if you can present evidence of an adverse employment decision in addition to evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement, then the burden suddenly shifts to your employer to show that the adverse employment action was taken for some other legitimate reason.
Therefore, if you’ve been subjected to quid pro quo sexual harassment, then you need to know two things. First, you shouldn’t be afraid. You can surround yourself with people who love and care about you, as well as a legal team that will protect you from other adverse employment decisions. This legal team can also fight to recover the compensation you deserve. Second, you need to be prepared before taking legal action. You need evidence not only of the quid pro quo arrangement, but also evidence supporting your work history to diminish any argument that your employer might make regarding poor performance.
These can be complicated and emotional matters. But you don’t have to face it alone. Dare to be strong and hold your harasser accountable.