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What is Quid Pro Quo Harassment in the Workplace?

The term quid pro quo literally means “something for something.” In an employment situation, it usually refers to a type of illegal harassment.

You may be a victim of quid pro quo harassment if your employer, manager or another supervisor at work tries to coerce you into doing something in exchange for job protection or benefits. Often, the “something” demanded is of a sexual nature.

What to do if your boss asks for a sexual favor

As an employee, you have the right to a workplace that is free from unfair treatment, harassing behaviors and discrimination. When you experience sexual harassment at work, you may feel stunned, ashamed and unsure of what to do next. It can be difficult to know who you can or should tell or if anyone will believe you. You don’t want to continue to work in a hostile work environment or face retaliation for saying no, but you also don’t want to lose your job.

Fortunately, you have options. Provided you can prove the following, you have the right to file a legal claim: 

  • You were an employee of the business or a job applicant at the time the harassment occurred.
  • You experienced unwanted verbal advances or physical contact from a person of authority or another employee.
  • The person who did this to you was also an employee or officer of the company you worked for or applied at. 
  • The person offered you specific benefits or protection from consequences if you complied with his or her sexual demands.
  • You suffered harm because of the harassment.

“Harm” may include losing your job, not getting a promotion, criticism, shunning or any number of other forms of retaliation.

You don’t have to face this difficult time by yourself. Talk to a legal professional about your options, which may include filing a claim to obtain compensation for lost wages, emotional duress and more.

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