What Is Quid Pro Quo Harassment in California?

What Is Quid Pro Quo Harassment in California?

The phrase “quid pro quo” is taken from Latin, and it translates to “this for that,” referring to a “give-and-take” situation. Under California Law, quid pro quo harassment takes the form of a boss or senior offering work-related perks in exchange for sexual favors. This form of sexual harassment generally appears in two forms:

  1. A supervisor or employer offers an employee a kind of work benefit on the condition that they submit to a sexual favor. Even hinting at a work benefit in exchange for sexual gratification can fall under harassment. 
  2. A supervisor or employer threatens an employee about taking work-related action, such as termination, unless the employee agrees to their sexual demands. 

Quid pro quo cases typically involve unwelcomed sexual advances, comments on the employee’s body and how it can be used sexually, or inappropriate conversations about graphic sexual acts.  

Examples of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

The term sexual harassment can sometimes be difficult to understand. However, with the following examples, one can understand what constitutes quid pro quo harassment. According to the Los Angeles workplace sexual harassment attorneys, inappropriate offers and unequal treatment/favortisim are common examples of quid pro quo.

Inappropriate Offers 

Asking someone out on a date one time doesn’t qualify as sexual harassment. On the other hand, a valid claim can be made if the employee has experienced repeated advances by a particular individual or if they are punished for rejecting the proposition. 

Unequal Treatment and Favoritism 

Under the California law, sex-based discrimination is strictly prohibited. In terms of sexual harassment, this type of discrimination can occur when supervisors repay workers with whom they have been sexually intimate or punish those who reject their sexual advances. 

Generally, certain instances of bias toward an employee with whom the employer is having an affair would not count as unlawful sexual harassment. It is important to note that in such situations, it can often become difficult to separate consensual sexual conduct and sexual favors that are strictly job-motivated. 

Are Lawyers Necessary to File a Case of Quid Pro Quo Harassment?

Employees are not legally required to have a lawyer for filing a claim against an employer or supervisor. However, it is always recommended to have a reputable lawyer by your side who can gather all the facts and present the case expertly to the court. This includes:

  • Context of the inappropriate conduct 
  • Frequency of the sexual harassment 
  • The severity of the inappropriateness

Certain cases of quid pro quo can be complex and not so straightforward. Even if you have all the facts, it is best to have a lawyer who can guide you and fill in the missing gaps. This way, you will have all the legally-relevant information, convincingly present the evidence, and maximize the financial compensation.   

If you have experienced any physical abuse by your supervisor or employer, see a doctor without any delay. 

Anybody can become a victim to quid pro quo sexual harassment at any point in the workplace. If the management fails to take the desired action, it is best to hire an employee lawyer who will navigate the case and make the process much more convenient.