Sexual harassment can happen in virtually any context. This kind of behavior is not only unconscionable, but it could also be unlawful, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. When the harassment happens at work, for example, it is certainly unlawful – and quid pro quo sexual harassment is perhaps the vilest manifestation of this abuse.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment goes beyond unwanted flirtation and sexualized banter and crude comments. Quid pro quo sexual harassment usually involves an attempt to exert power and influence over another person to manipulate him or her into performing sexual acts and sexual favors. Quid pro quo sexual harassment usually means that a superior in a workplace has created an incentive for one of his or her underlings to perform sexual acts or favors.
Incentive in quid pro quo sexual harassment could include the following:
- The promise of a promotion if the employee complies.
- The promise of a raise if the employee complies.
- The promise of other career benefits if the employee complies.
- The threat of termination if the employee does not comply.
- The threat of demotion or lower pay if the employee does not comply.
- The threat of some other kind of negative career consequence if the employee doesn’t comply.
If you have been victimized by quid pro quo sexual harassment, or if you’re currently being victimized by it, there’s no reason why you have to put up with this kind of abuse. You are well within your legal rights to say “no,” and to report the behavior to make it stop without any fear of negative career consequences. You might also have the legal right to pursue a financial claim for compensation and justice.