If you have had a disturbing experience at work and think that the experience qualifies as a type of sexual harassment, it is likely that you have started to conduct research on the matter. The law on sexual harassment in the workplace can often be confusing at first glance, but this should never discourage you from taking the appropriate action.
The phrase, “quid pro quo” refers to a specific type of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that translates loosely into “something for another thing.” In the context of sexual harassment in the workplace, the phrase refers to a person’s abuse of their employment power in order to gain something of a sexual nature.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment in more detail
Quid pro quo sexual harassment in the workplace can come in many different forms, but it almost always includes the victim being bribed or threatened in some way.
For example, an owner of a company may threaten one of their employees with being fired if they do not perform a sexual favor that has been requested of them. This instance is a typical example of quid pro quo harassment. The threat or request could be either direct or only hinted at, but it would still be classed as sexual harassment under the law.
Another example of quid pro quo sexual harassment could be a situation in which a manager promises an employer the work adjustments that they have requested, but only under conditions that are sexual or unprofessional in nature.
Any abuse of power that is done with sexual intent is likely to be defined as quid pro quo sexual harassment. This type of sexual harassment is different from another type of workplace sexual harassment, which is defined by the creation of a hostile working environment through the perpetrator’s inappropriate behavior. If you can prove that sexual harassment in either of these forms occurred in your situation, it is likely that you will be able to successfully take legal action and potentially claim damages.
It is important to understand how the law in New York applies to your particular experience. By taking action to stand up for your legal rights, you may also be preventing similar unlawful acts from being perpetrated toward other employees.