QUID PRO QUO SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Your ability to get and keep a job and to advance in the company where you work should be based on your ability and hard work alone, certainly not on your willingness to provide sexual favors. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for such demands to be made. This is a form of illegal sexual harassment and needs to be stopped whenever it occurs. At the San Diego law firm of Zeldes, Haeqquist & Eck, we dedicate a large part of our employment law practice to protecting workers from all forms of sexual harassment.
Quid pro quo is a Latin term meaning “something for something.” In the workplace, Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when employment decisions such as hiring, promotions, raises, work assignments, recommendations, performance evaluations are based on your willingness to submit the sexual demands made by someone who holds a position of power, for example a manager or supervisor, or other person holding a superior position in the company.
Quid pro quo harassment has occurred if your boss or another higher-up in your company has indicated that your job in some way depends on your giving in to sexual advances, regardless of whether or not you actually yielded to those demands. Only one instance of quid pro quo sexual harassment is enough for you to bring a lawsuit against the company. Furthermore, it is illegal for an employer to fire you for suing your company for sexual harassment, even if you do not win the lawsuit.
QUID PRO QUO SEXUAL HARASSMENT EXAMPLES
- Your manager offers you a promotion in exchange for sex.
- Your boss threatens to fire you if you reject his or her sexual demands.
- You are demoted after refusing sexual involvement with a supervisor, manager, or employer
- Your benefits are withheld—or threatened to be—if you refuse sexual advances,
- Participation in desirable work projects is made contingent on sexual favors.
- Your employee evaluations are based on your cooperation with sexual demands.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DEMONSTRATE TO WIN A QUID PRO QUO SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIM
Before initiating a sexual harassment lawsuit, you will need to file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission to obtain a “right to sue” letter.
To win a quid pro quo sexual harassment case, you will need to present good evidence that the harasser made unwanted sexual advances as a condition of your receiving some specific benefits connected with your job or for avoiding some negative action, for example termination or demotion. The standard of proof in California is a preponderance of the evidence, which means the evidence shows that the behavior more likely than not did occur.
These are the legal elements you and your attorney will have to prove:
- You were employed by the person you are accusing or applied to that person for a job or were acting in a business relationship with that person covered by a contract.
- The person made unwanted sexual advances to you or engaged in some form of unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
- It was made clear that job benefits were dependent upon your accepting that person’s sexual advances or conduct, or that decisions affecting your employment would be made based on your acceptance or rejection of the harasser’s sexual conduct or advances
- When the harassment occurred, the alleged harasser was your supervisor or agent for the company where you worked or were applying.
- You suffered harm as a direct result of the harassment.
POTENTIAL LEGAL REMEDIES FOR WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT
- Reinstatement to your position if you were discharged
- An injunction to stop the harassment
- Monetary compensation for lost wages, benefits, and employment opportunities.
- Monetary compensation for other damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional anguish.
- Punitive damages intended to punish the defendant or deter the company from allowing the harassment to occur in the future.
EXPERIENCED SAN DIEGO SEXUAL HARASSMENT ATTORNEYS
If you feel that you have been subjected to any type of employment-related sexual harassment, call the law offices of Zeldes, Haeqquist & Eck, LLP, to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced, skilled, and aggressive employment attorneys to learn about the options available to you. We will help you file your complaint with the appropriate agency and institute a lawsuit on your behalf. We are often able to settle out of court, but when necessary, we are always ready and willing to try your valid case to a jury. Don’t delay, because legal time limits for filing apply.