Armstrong & Associates Employment Law Firm

Have you heard of quid pro quo sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment, unfortunately, serves as an ongoing and major issue in workplaces across the nation. Even with the advent of work-from-home environments, it continues to persist.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment is one of many types of harassment. Understanding the definition can help you recognize problems as they manifest.

Defining quid pro quo

Diversity for Social Impact discusses the definition of quid pro quo, a Latin phrase that defines an interaction having a component of exchange to it. It literally means “something for something,” i.e. each person in the interaction reportedly receives something from it.

In terms of sexual harassment specifically, quid pro quo harassment occurs when one person attempts to exchange sexual favors for things like promotions, raises, more desirable positions and so on.

In essence, it is an attempt at bribing someone with a way to advance in the workplace in exchange for sexual favors.

It also works negatively, too. For example, an employer may threaten to fire someone if they do not perform a sexual act for them. The exchange in this case is a person’s job security for sexual favors.

Why record-keeping is important

In many sexual harassment cases, things boil down to “he-said, she-said” arguments. In other words, it is often one person’s word alone against what another person says.

This is why creating a paper trail and collecting evidence are so important. Without proof of attempted coercion or threats, claims of quid pro quo sexual harassment may end up dismissed in court.


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