Not many workplace challenges are as traumatizing as being sexually harassed by a coworker, an employer or even a customer. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, you should never keep quiet and do nothing about your predicament.
Sexual harassment at work is unlawful. Unfortunately, despite years of campaigns, this vice remains rampant in most workplaces. One of the most common forms of sexual harassment at work is quid pro quo. But what exactly is this and how does it happen?
Understanding quid pro quo
Quid pro quo is Latin for “this for that” or “something in exchange for something.” In the context of workplace sexual harassment, quid pro quo happens when someone in a position of authority demands sexual relations from an employee in exchange for work-related favors.
Common examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment
A job offer in exchange for sexual favors – Quid pro quo can happen long before you are formally hired. If the recruiting or interviewing officer promises to treat you favorably during the recruitment process provided you sleep with them, this is quid pro quo sexual harassment. The same is true if they refuse to hire you on the grounds that you did not yield to their sexual demands.
Favorable job conditions in exchange for sexual relations – if someone in a position of influence like your supervisor or team leader promises job perks in return for sexual favors, this is quid pro quo sexual harassment too. These can include a promise of a pay rise, a promotion or other work-related perks like vacations.
Any form of sexual harassment at work is degrading, to say the least. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, it is in your best interest that you gather your evidence and take suitable action against your employer and/or the liable party.