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Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment - This For That

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment is the most common type of harassment we see on television and in the news.  A manager promises an employment benefit in exchange for sexual favors.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment is the most recognizable type of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo's Latin translation literally means "this for that". Basically, a manager or person of authority seeks sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits. These benefits could be a pay increase, a promotion, a positive performance review, a favorable assignment, more responsibility, keeping the employment or even avoiding demotion. The benefits could be a hundred different things, but as long as they are in exchange for sexual favors then they constitute Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment.

These favors must be unwanted by the subordinate in the situation, however this isn't as simple as it seems. There have been many cases lately where the subordinate willingly goes along with the exchange and then files a grievance later. In a supervisor - employee relationship nothing is simple. Many people are desperate to keep their jobs and need to support their families. The advances by the supervisor were unwelcome but they went along with them anyway out of fear of losing their job. At the timeArticle Submission, they felt like they had no choice.

The behavior can be direct or indirect. In other words the manager can demand favors directly for employment benefits or they can deny them indirectly. If the denial of benefits is indirect then nothing has been spoken about the exchange but the subordinate suddenly finds themselves denied of employment benefits. For instance - a manager touches the leg of a subordinate and is rebuffed and then suddenly the subordinate employee finds themselves denied employment benefits that they once had. It could also be even more indirect. For instance a manager could have a sexual interest in a subordinate employee but when that employee becomes engaged they suddenly lose the benefits they once had.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment is completely unacceptable and illegal in any workplace. Companies need to educate their employees in no uncertain terms that type of sexual harassment is unacceptable and will have employment and legal consequences if it is not strictly adhered to.

Article Tags: Sexual Harassment, Employment Benefits

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Charlie Bentson King is a writer and producer of training videos.

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