You often see the term quid pro quo thrown around, sometimes in relation to sexual harassment cases. But have you ever wondered exactly what this means? It’s a way to define the relationship that was in place and the harassment that was involved.
Essentially, it deals with an exchange. One thing is offered in exchange for another. This can, of course, happen very legally in the business world. However, in terms of sexual harassment cases, it can also be a direct violation of someone’s rights.
How it may take place
Exactly how it happens varies, but it is often a situation where a person in power offers benefits in the workplace in exchange for some level of a sexual relationship with a person working for them.
For instance, say that a boss has a secretary that he or she is attracted to. The secretary is trying to get a promotion to a higher level of management. They’re very ambitious in their career.
Knowing that they can give the secretary the advancement they want, the boss approaches them and says that he or she will grant a promotion in exchange for a secret sexual relationship. They’re trying to use their position of power to get the employee to agree — exchanging a better job for sexual favors.
This is already a violation of that employee’s rights, as they shouldn’t have to find themselves in such a position. They may also worry that they will completely eliminate all chances of ever getting a promotion if they refuse.
Has this happened to you?
Workplace harassment can take many different forms. If you have experienced this or any other form, be sure you know what legal protections you have.