The Latin phrase, quid pro quo, is used to indicate a transaction. As a law term, a quid pro quo transaction has a problematic element. When that transaction involves an inappropriate sexual component, such as when a supervisor dangles a promotion as an incentive to perform sexual acts or threatens a subordinate’s job security over a sexual snub, that supervisor is guilty of quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome attention that targets someone as a result of their gender or any inappropriate behavior with a sexual element that aims to embarrass or unsettle the victim. It can come in the form of unsolicited advancements that make the victim uncomfortable or it can be inappropriate comments or actions that objectify or belittle the victim because of their gender. It may also involve using sexually charged language, inappropriate jokes, or sharing materials of a sexual nature, such as obscene pictures or videos. Sexual harassment can happen over the phone, through text messages or email, as well as in person. Perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment can be superiors, colleagues, or clients.
The law regarding quid pro quo sexual harassment is very specific and has explicit components and implications. This type of discrimination must be perpetrated against an employee who works or has applied for work at the same company that employs the perpetrator, which is often a person in a position of authority that holds sway over the victim’s work prospects or circumstances, such as a supervisor or potential supervisor.
Additionally, quid pro quo sexual harassment is when the aggressor’s behavior involves inappropriate sexual remarks or advancements and the perpetrator makes it known that the victim’s job prospects are dependent upon an understanding of acceptance of the abuse or acquiescence to the perpetrator’s advances. The law concludes that for a case of quid pro quo sexual harassment to be prosecuted, the victim has to prove that they suffered harm that was directly caused by the harassing behavior.
When a case of quid pro quo sexual harassment is proven, the victim may get their job back if they were fired as a result of non-compliance with the harasser’s wishes. The victim may be awarded compensation for lost income. The court may even award damages if the harassment caused the victim emotional distress or warrants punitive damages that are meant to punish the company and make an example out of it. The victim may also recover court fees and costs.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you need the assistance of an experienced Long Branch employment discrimination lawyer at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. We stand up to individuals of influence and the powerful companies that allow for the discriminatory and harmful culture to exist. Call us today at 732-493-9400 or contact us online to set up a free consultation today.
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