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What is the legal definition of quid pro quo sexual harassment?

Quid pro quo is Latin for "this for that" or "something for something." The legal definition of quid pro quo sexual harassment is therefore promising something to an employee in exchange for a sexual favor. Examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment include:

-- Saying an employee won't be reprimanded or fired in exchange for a favor of a sexual nature.

-- Promising a promotion or a raise in exchange for a favor of a sexual nature.

-- Touching a job applicant on the thigh and asking if he or she wants the job.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment can be overt and only hinted at in order for a claim against the harasser to be filed. In fact, even if an employee were to eventually give into the inappropriate requests demands, it doesn't negate the harassment claim.

There are several elements to this type of sexual harassment claim. These include:

-- The plaintiff was either an applicant or an employee with the defendant's company.

-- The defendant made advances of a sexual nature toward the plaintiff. These advances were unwanted.

-- Either by conduct or words, conditions were set that required a sexual action in exchange for employment, a promotion or a raise.

-- The defendant was an agent or supervisor with the company.

-- The plaintiff experienced harm of some kind from the harassment.

-- The actions of the defendant were responsible for causing that harm.

There are a variety of civil claims that may be filed against the harasser, including those for lost wages, lost employment opportunities, emotional distress and more. An experienced attorney will be able to provide you more information on how to file a quid pro quo harassment claim.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Quid Pro Quo Harassment?" Sep. 03, 2014

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