California Quid Pro Quo Harassment FAQ

What is Quid Pro Quo Harassment?

Quid pro harassment is a specific type of workplace sexual harassment that occurs when an employer conditions certain employment-related decisions upon the performance of sexual favors. Quid pro quo harassment can only occur if the person suggesting the exchange is a supervisor of the employee at whom the harassment is directed. The kinds of employment decisions that are often involved in quid pro quo harassment claims including the following:

• Whether to hire a candidate
• Termination of employment
• Promotion
• An increase or decrease in pay
• Assignment to less desirable job duties

How Does Quid Pro Quo Harassment Differ from other Forms of Harassment?

Workplace sexual harassment falls into two broad categories: quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo is defined by the “this for that” nature of the harassment and the fact that it must be committed by a person with authority. On the other hand, non-supervisory employees can engage in hostile work environment harassment. In addition, it involves a workplace environment that is hostile, intimidating, or offensive to reasonable people. Some examples of conduct that might be considered hostile work environment harassment include the following:

• Crude language
• Offensive jokes
• Unnecessary touching
• Displaying sexually-charged pictures or images
• Commenting on a person’s physical attributes
• Sexually suggestive comments or gestures

Importantly, an isolated offensive incident typically does not rise to the level of harassment, unless it is sufficiently severe. An attorney at the Jafari Law Group can help you determine whether you’ve been the victim of harassment during a free consultation.

Does Quid Pro Quo Harassment Need to Be Explicit?

No. It is not necessary for a supervisor to say “If you do X, I will give you Y” in order for quid pro quo harassment to occur. It is sufficient that the proposed exchange is implied. Of course, proving that the supervisor implicitly offered an inappropriate exchange can be difficult, so it is imperative that anyone who believes that he or she was the victim of quid pro quo harassment retain an attorney immediately.

If My Claim is Successful, to What Relief am I Entitled?

If you bring successfully bring a quid pro quo harassment claim, you may be entitled to various forms of relief, including:

• Compensation for lost income
• Compensation for lost employment opportunities
• Compensation for emotional distress
• Reinstatement to your former position
• Punitive damages

Each instance of sexual harassment is different, and the relief ordered by the court will take into account the specific facts of your case. An experienced lawyer will be able to give you an idea of what you may expect after thoroughly analyzing the circumstances around the harassment to which you were subjected.

Harassed at Work? Call the Jafari Law Group Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you believe you have been subjected to quid pro quo or any other type of harassment at work, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. We have been practicing law since 2005 and are committed to protecting the rights of employees throughout California. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call us today at 949.362.0100 or send us an email through our online contact form.