Fortunately, the majority of workplaces offer comfortable environments for their employees, but this isn’t always the case. Sadly, sexual harassment still occurs and while it mainly happens to women, anyone can be impacted.
The dynamics behind sexual harassment can be complex, and power is often at the center of harassment cases. Thus, one of the more common and dangerous forms of harassment is quid pro quo harassment. Essentially, this means that a superior uses their position to sexually harass a subordinate.
Quid pro quo harassment frequently manifests itself in the following ways:
Rewards for sexual favors
Employees should solely be judged on their job performance. This is the basis on which they should be either rewarded or penalized. In some cases, a superior may suggest that a promotion is in the pipeline for a certain worker. The catch is that they want the worker to go out with them on a date or carry out other sexual favors. The promotion is not based on the abilities or experience of the worker at all. This is one of the more common forms of quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Declined sexual advances
Of course, if you find yourself in the situation described above, you are within your rights not only to reject the sexual advances but to raise an official complaint. The sad thing is that this can see you penalized by your boss who made the advances in the first place. You may find yourself demoted, ostracized, your hours might be cut and your pay even decreased. This type of conduct is generally referred to as retaliation, and it is unlawful.
If you have faced any form of sexual harassment at work, it’s important to remember that you are not on your own. By seeking some legal guidance, you may be able to remedy the situation and ensure that it does not happen again.