From the meaning of Quid Pro Quo and definition of Quid Pro Quo harassment to useful resources; Know Everything in this comprehensive article.

I. Introduction

Quid pro quo, “something for something,” or “this for that,” is a legal term for exchanging goods or services. However, in the context of employment, quid pro quo harassment occurs when someone in a position of power demands sexual favors in exchange for job benefits or to avoid negative consequences. This practice is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

The legal definition of quid pro quo harassment varies slightly across different jurisdictions. However, the core concept remains constant: the exchange of sexual favors for professional advantages or disadvantages. Importantly, quid pro quo harassment can occur in situations where the victim explicitly rejects the advances, as the mere suggestion or pressure to engage in such conduct constitutes a hostile work environment.

II. Types of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

There are three primary types of quid pro quo (QPQ) harassment.

  1. Explicit quid pro quo harassment: The harasser explicitly offers or demands sexual favors in exchange for a benefit or to avoid a detriment.
  2. Implicit quid pro quo harassment: The harasser does not explicitly offer or demand sexual favors, but the victim’s job or other benefits are at stake if they do not comply.
  3. Coercive quid pro quo harassment: The victim is forced or threatened into complying with the harasser’s demands.

Other types involve unwanted sexual advances, sexual jokes or comments, unwelcome touching, display of sexual materials, and any other behavior that is unwelcome and sexually suggestive or offensive.

A. Sexual and Non-sexual Differences

Sexual Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Sexual Quid Pro Quo Harassment – This image is from Pexels.com’s free stock

1. Sexual quid pro quo harassment occurs when someone in a position of power offers or demands sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits or to avoid job consequences.

2. Non-sexual quid pro quo harassment occurs when someone in a position of power offers or demands something other than sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits or to avoid job consequences.

Quid pro quo harassment can occur in any workplace. Still, it is more common in industries with a power imbalance between employees and supervisors, such as restaurants, entertainment, and healthcare industries.

B. Examples of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Example Demonstration of Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Example Demonstration of Quid Pro Quo Harassment – This image is from Pexels.com’s free stock

1. Workplaces:

Quid pro quo harassment in the workplace occurs when a person in a position of power uses their authority to pressure someone into doing something they do not want to do, such as engaging in sexual favors or performing additional work without pay, in exchange for a job benefit, such as a promotion, raise, or favorable work schedule. This type of harassment can create a hostile work environment and can have a significant negative impact on the victim’s career and well-being.

Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment

2. Educational Settings:

Quid pro quo harassment in educational settings can manifest in various forms. For instance, a professor may offer a student a passing grade or extra credit in exchange for sexual favors or personal favors, such as running errands or doing household chores. Similarly, a teacher may promise students preferential treatment or special privileges in exchange for silence about their misconduct or refrain from reporting violations of school rules. Such actions constitute quid pro quo harassment and harm the learning environment.

3. Houses:

Quid pro quo harassment can also occur within the context of housing. For example, a landlord may offer to lower a tenant’s rent or provide other housing benefits in exchange for sexual favors or for keeping quiet about maintenance issues or code violations. Similarly, a homeowner may promise to make repairs or provide other home improvements in exchange for a tenant’s compliance with unreasonable demands or refrain from reporting their illegal activities. This type of harassment can create a dangerous and exploitative living situation for tenants.

Check out The Fair Housing Act (FHA) of 1968.

4. Relationships:

Quid pro quo harassment can occur in both romantic and non-romantic relationships. In romantic relationships, a partner may threaten to break up, withhold affection, pressure for uncomfortable acts, or use financial or emotional power to coerce sexual favors. In non-romantic relationships, siblings may threaten to expose secrets, stepparents may offer special privileges, or either may pressure for uncomfortable acts or use power to coerce sexual favors.

C. Victims of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Demo Image for Victims of Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Demo Image for Victims of Quid Pro Quo Harassment – This image is from Pexels.com’s free stock

Quid pro quo harassment can affect anyone, regardless of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. However, certain groups are more vulnerable to this type of harassment, including women, young students, people with disabilities, low-wage workers, immigrants, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those working in male-dominated industries or industries with a high risk of sexual harassment, such as the hospitality, entertainment, and financial industries.

D. Perpetrators of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Anyone in a position of power can be a perpetrator of quid pro quo harassment. This is because they can coerce or threaten others into engaging in sexual activity in exchange for something they want, such as a job promotion, a better grade, or a favorable lease agreement.

A Research survey indicated that of those who experienced harassment, a significant portion, around 57%, said the perpetrator was a supervisor or someone in a position of authority.

1. Educational Settings

Students Attending Lecture
Students Attending Lecture – This image is from Pexels.com’s free stock

In educational settings, teachers, coaches, administrators, counselors, tutors, sports trainers, volunteers, and even co-students can engage in quid pro quo harassment. They may pressure students for sexual favors in exchange for better grades, preferential treatment, special opportunities, playing time, recognition, scholarships, favorable recommendations, tutoring services, preferential treatment, protection, or social acceptance.

2. Workplaces and Houses

In houses, landlords and other individuals in positions of authority may use their power to coerce or threaten tenants into engaging in sexual activity. Similarly, in workplaces, bosses or supervisors, colleagues or co-workers, clients or customers, vendors or contractors, and even security personnel can engage in quid pro quo harassment. They may pressure employees or service providers for sexual favors in exchange for promotions, raises, favorable work schedules, preferential treatment, favorable contracts, leniency, or to avoid termination, negative performance reviews, negative feedback, financial penalties, or disciplinary actions.

3. Relationships

In personal relationships, romantic partners, friends or acquaintances, and even strangers can engage in quid pro quo harassment. They may pressure their partners, friends, or acquaintances for sexual favors in exchange for emotional support, material gifts, social inclusion, or to avoid ending the relationship, social ostracism, or negative consequences. Additionally, step-parents or guardians, roommates or housemates, and landlords or property managers can also exploit their positions of authority to engage in quid pro quo harassment, pressuring others for sexual favors in exchange for preferential treatment, favorable living arrangements, maintenance repairs, or to avoid punishment, conflicts, or eviction.

4. Politics and Government

In the political realm, elected officials, political appointees, government employees, lobbyists, campaign workers, contractors, and foreign agents can also engage in quid pro quo harassment. They may pressure constituents, lobbyists, fellow politicians, subordinates, colleagues, or even members of the public for sexual favors in exchange for political favors, favorable legislation, job security, promotions, preferential treatment, favorable contract terms, preferential treatment, or to avoid negative consequences, negative publicity, or termination of contracts.

III. The Effects of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Effects of Quid Pro Quo Harassment
The Effects of Quid Pro Quo Harassment – This image is from Pexels.com’s free stock

Quid pro quo harassment can have a devastating impact on the psychological, physical, financial, long-term, emotional, personal, and social well-being of victims.

Type of EffectDescriptionExamples
Psychological EffectsAnxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear, shame, guilt, isolation, low self-esteemFeeling anxious or depressed all the time, having nightmares or flashbacks, avoiding places or people that remind you of the harassment, feeling worthless or guilty, withdrawing from friends and family
Physical EffectsHeadaches, stomach problems, fatigue, sleep disturbances, muscle tension, panic attacksHaving headaches or stomachaches, feeling tired all the time, having trouble sleeping, feeling tense or on edge, having panic attacks
Financial EffectsLoss of income, legal expenses, medical expenses, damage to credit, loss of opportunitiesLosing your job, having to pay for legal fees or medical care, having your credit damaged, missing out on job opportunities
Social EffectsWithdrawal from friends and family, difficulty maintaining relationships, social anxiety, feelings of isolation and lonelinessAvoiding friends and family, having trouble keeping relationships, feeling anxious or uncomfortable in social situations, and feeling isolated and alone.
Long-Term EffectsDifficulty trusting others, fear of intimacy, relationship problems, difficulty finding and maintaining employment, chronic health problemsHaving difficulty trusting new people, avoiding close relationships or being intimate with others, having trouble maintaining healthy relationships, struggling to find and keep a job, developing chronic health problems like anxiety disorders, depression, or PTSD
Emotional EffectsAnger, sadness, frustration, helplessness, humiliation, betrayalFeeling angry, sad, frustrated, helpless, humiliated, or betrayed
Personal EffectsDamage to self-esteem, loss of confidence, feeling unsafe, feeling powerlessFeeling worthless or not good enough, losing confidence in yourself, feeling unsafe and vulnerable, feeling like you have no control over your life
Chart on the Effects of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

IV. How to Identify Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Identifying
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Quid pro quo harassment can be difficult to identify, as perpetrators often try to hide their behavior. However, some signs may indicate that you are being harassed:

Harassment signs and symptoms at workplaces include:

  1. Explicit Offers of Job Benefits in Exchange for Sexual Favors: The harasser directly offers job benefits, such as promotions, raises, or favorable assignments, in exchange for sexual compliance.
  2. Repeated Requests for Personal Favors or Dates: The harasser repeatedly asks the victim for personal favors, such as dates or outings, which creates an uncomfortable and unprofessional work environment.
  3. Unwanted Physical Contact or Touching: The harasser engages in unwanted physical contact, such as hugs, pats, or lingering touches, that make the victim feel uncomfortable or violated.
  4. Threats of Retaliation or Negative Job Consequences: The harasser threatens negative job consequences, such as demotions, terminations, or poor performance reviews, if the victim rejects their sexual advances or does not comply with their demands.
  5. Exclusion from Meetings, Projects, or Promotions: The harasser excludes the victim from important meetings, projects, or promotions that could lead to career advancement, possibly as a punishment for rejecting their advances.
  6. Unreasonable or Excessive Workloads: The harasser assigns the victim unreasonable or excessive workloads, creating additional stress and pressure to force compliance.
  7. Unfavorable Performance Reviews or Evaluations: The harasser gives the victim consistently unfavorable performance reviews or evaluations, even in cases where their work is satisfactory or above average.
  8. Denial of Training or Development Opportunities: The harasser denies the victim opportunities for training or development, hindering their career advancement and limiting their professional growth.
  9. Sabotage of Work or Projects: The harasser sabotages the victim’s work or projects, making it difficult for them to succeed and potentially leading to disciplinary actions.
  10. Spread of Rumors or Gossip: The harasser spreads rumors or gossip about the victim’s sexuality or personal life, creating a hostile and embarrassing work environment.
  11. Isolation from Colleagues or Exclusion from Social Activities: The harasser isolates the victim from colleagues and excludes them from social activities, further marginalizing them and making them feel ostracized.
  12. Unwanted Gifts or Attention: The harasser gives the victim unwanted gifts or lavishes them excessively, creating a sense of pressure or obligation.
  13. Uncomfortable or Suggestive Comments or Jokes: The harasser makes uncomfortable or suggestive comments or jokes, creating a sexually charged and unprofessional work environment.
  14. Pressure to Attend Social Events or Outings: The harasser consistently pressures the victim to attend social events or outings, even if they are uncomfortable or unwilling to participate.
  15. Sudden Changes in Work Assignments or Responsibilities: The harasser makes sudden and unexplained changes to the victim’s work assignments or responsibilities, possibly to retaliate for rejecting their advances or maintaining their position of power.

Sexual Harassment Signs or Symptoms in the Educational Settings:

No.Signs or Symptoms
1Unwanted sexual advances or attention, such as making sexual comments or jokes, asking for dates or physical contact, or touching someone in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
2Requests for sexual favors in exchange for academic benefits, such as promising to raise a grade, give extra credit, or write a letter of recommendation in exchange for sexual favors.
3Conditioning academic access on sexual compliance, meaning that a student’s ability to participate in class, take exams, or receive other academic services is dependent on their willingness to engage in sexual activity.
4Creating a hostile learning environment, which can include things like making sexually suggestive comments or jokes, displaying sexually explicit materials, or creating a classroom atmosphere that is uncomfortable or intimidating for students.
5Using power or authority to pressure someone into sexual activity, which can involve things like threatening to lower a grade, spread rumors, or give negative feedback in exchange for sexual favors.
6Retaliating against someone who reports harassment, which could involve things like giving the student a failing grade, preventing them from participating in extracurricular activities, or spreading rumors about them.
7Conditioning academic access on sexual compliance, meaning that a student’s ability to participate in class, take exams, or receive other academic services is dependent on their willingness to engage in sexual activity.
8Making students feel obligated to engage in sexual activity, which can happen when a student feels like they have no choice but to comply with a professor’s or teacher’s demands in order to succeed in school.
9Creating a culture of silence around harassment, which can happen when students feel like they will be punished or ostracized if they report harassment, or when they think that reporting it will not do any good.
10Normalizing quid pro quo harassment, which can happen when students believe that harassment is a normal part of the educational experience, or when they think that it is not a serious issue.
11Ignoring or downplaying reports of harassment, which can happen when administrators or faculty members fail to take reports of harassment seriously, or when they do not take appropriate action to address the problem.
12Failing to provide adequate training on harassment prevention, which can happen when schools do not provide clear and comprehensive training on what constitutes harassment, how to report it, and what resources are available to victims.
13Failing to create a supportive environment for victims of harassment, which can happen when schools do not provide adequate support services for victims of harassment, or when they do not make it clear that victims will be protected from retaliation.
14Failing to hold perpetrators of harassment accountable, which can happen when schools fail to investigate reports of harassment, or when they do not take appropriate disciplinary action against perpetrators.
15Creating a culture that tolerates or encourages harassment, which can happen when schools fail to create a culture that values respect and equality, or when they do not send a clear message that harassment will not be tolerated.
Signs or Symptoms of Quid Pro Quo Harassment in Educational Settings

V. Legal Framework of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

A. Federal Laws

1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The primary federal law prohibiting quid pro quo harassment is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII protects employees from discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, and national origin. This extends to protection from quid pro quo harassment, which is considered a form of sex discrimination.

2. Equal Pay Act of 1963

This law prohibits employers from paying men and women different wages for the same work. Quid pro quo harassment can also involve wage disparities, as it may involve withholding raises or other employment-related benefits in exchange for sexual favors.

In addition to Title VII and Equal Pay Act 1963, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidelines that further define and clarify the scope of quid pro quo harassment. These guidelines provide a framework for courts interpreting Title VII and other anti-discrimination laws.

3. Legal Consequences for Perpetrators

Legal Consequences of Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Legal Consequences of Quid Pro Quo Harassment – This image is from Pexels.com’s free stock

Perpetrators of quid pro quo harassment can face significant legal consequences, including:

  • Back pay and lost wages: Victims of quid pro quo harassment may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or other employment-related losses.
  • Emotional distress damages: Victims may also be able to recover damages for emotional distress caused by the harassment.
  • Punitive damages: In cases of particularly egregious harassment, courts may award punitive damages to punish the harasser and deter future misconduct.
  • Injunctive relief: In some cases, courts may order injunctive relief, which requires the harasser to cease and take steps to prevent future harassment.
  • In addition to civil liability, perpetrators of quid pro quo harassment may also face criminal charges, particularly if the harassment involves minors or occurs in certain educational or institutional settings.

What Employers Can Do to Prevent Quid Pro Quo Harassment

What Employees Can Do to Prevent Quid Pro Quo Harassment

4. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs or activities that receive federal funding. Quid pro quo harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination under Title IX.

Under Title IX, quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employee of an educational institution conditions the provision of aid, benefit, or service of the institution on a student’s or employee’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

Moreover, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 guidelines. These guidelines provide a framework for educational institutions to comply with the law and prevent and address sexual harassment, including quid pro quo harassment.

5. Legal Consequences for Perpetrators

Educational institutions found to have violated Title IX can face significant consequences, including:

  • Loss of federal funding: The U.S. Department of Education can terminate federal funding for educational programs or activities that violate Title IX.
  • Private lawsuits: Students or employees subjected to quid pro quo harassment under Title IX may file private lawsuits against the educational institution.
  • Disciplinary action against perpetrators: Educational institutions may also take disciplinary action against employees who have engaged in quid pro quo harassment, potentially including termination of employment.
  • In addition to these legal consequences, educational institutions that violate Title IX may face reputational damage, negative media attention, and a decline in enrollment. These factors can further impact the institution’s ability to attract and retain students, faculty, and staff, creating a vicious cycle of harm.

B. State Laws

Many states have laws that prohibit quid pro quo harassment. These laws may provide broader or more specific protections than Title VII. For example, some state laws extend protection to employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

1. Examples

StateLaw
AlabamaAlabama Employment Discrimination Act (AEDA)
AlaskaAlaska Statutes (AS)
ArizonaArizona Revised Statutes (ARS)
ArkansasArkansas Code Annotated (ACA)
CaliforniaCalifornia Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
ColoradoColorado Revised Statutes (CRS)
ConnecticutConnecticut General Statutes (CGS)
DelawareDelaware Code Annotated (DCA)
FloridaFlorida Civil Rights Act (FCRA)
GeorgiaGeorgia Code Annotated (O.C.G.A.)
HawaiiHawaii Revised Statutes (HRS)
IdahoIdaho Code (IC)
IllinoisIllinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)
IndianaIndiana Code (IC)
IowaIowa Code Annotated (ICA)
KansasKansas Statutes Annotated (KSA)
KentuckyKentucky Revised Statutes (KRS)
LouisianaLouisiana Revised Statutes Annotated (LSA)
MaineMaine Revised Statutes Annotated (M.R.S.A.)
MarylandMaryland Code Annotated (Md. Code Ann.)
MassachusettsMassachusetts General Laws (MGL)
MichiganElliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA)
MinnesotaMinnesota Statutes Annotated (MSA)
MississippiMississippi Code Annotated (MCA)
MissouriMissouri Revised Statutes (Mo. Rev. Stat.)
MontanaMontana Code Annotated (MCA)
NebraskaNebraska Revised Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat.)
NevadaNevada Revised Statutes (NRS)
New HampshireNew Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated (N.H.R.S.A.)
New JerseyNew Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)
New MexicoNew Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA)
New YorkNew York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL)
North CarolinaNorth Carolina General Statutes (N.C. Gen. Stat.)
North DakotaNorth Dakota Century Code (NDCC)
OhioOhio Revised Code (ORC)
OklahomaOklahoma Statutes Annotated (O.S.A.)
OregonOregon Revised Statutes (ORS)
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA)
Rhode IslandRhode Island General Laws (R.I. Gen. Laws)
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Code Annotated (S.C. Code Ann.)
South DakotaSouth Dakota Codified Laws (SDCL)
TennesseeTennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.)
TexasTexas Labor Code (TLC)
UtahUtah Code Annotated (UCA)
VermontVermont Statutes Annotated (V.S.A.)
VirginiaVirginia Code (Va. Code)
WashingtonWashington Revised Code Annotated (WRC)
West VirginiaWest Virginia Code Annotated (W.Va. Code Ann.)
WisconsinWisconsin Statutes Annotated (W.S.A.)
WyomingWyoming Statutes Annotated (Wyo. Stat. Ann.)
Laws Prohibiting Employment Discrimination and Harassment in their Respective States

VI. How to Prevent Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Here are a few useful ways and effective steps to prevent quid pro quo harassment:

  1. Establish a clear and comprehensive anti-harassment policy that explicitly defines quid pro quo harassment, outlines prohibited conduct, and details reporting procedures.
  2. Conduct regular training sessions for all employees, including supervisors and managers, to educate them about quid pro quo harassment, its legal implications, and how to recognize and report it.
  3. Foster a workplace culture that values respect, inclusion, and zero tolerance for harassment.
  4. Implement a safe and confidential reporting process that allows employees to report harassment without fear of retaliation. Ensure multiple reporting channels, such as a designated reporting officer, a hotline, or an anonymous online portal.
  5. Promote equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics.
  6. Address systemic biases or discriminatory practices that could create an environment conducive to quid pro quo harassment.
  7. Minimize power imbalances between supervisors and employees to reduce the potential for quid pro quo harassment.
  8. Recognize the symptoms or signs of quid pro quo harassment.
  9. Establish clear cybersecurity and social media policies to address inappropriate online behavior that could contribute to a hostile work environment.
  10. Promote a healthy work-life balance to reduce stress and burnout, which can increase vulnerability to harassment.
  11. Educate employees about their rights and responsibilities under anti-harassment laws and company policies. Emphasize the importance of reporting harassment and seeking help when needed.
  12. Provide support resources for harassment victims, including counseling, legal assistance, and emotional support groups.
  13. Hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
  14. Review regularly and revise the anti-harassment policy to ensure it remains effective and aligned with current laws and best practices.
  15. Encourage bystander intervention by empowering employees to speak up and challenge inappropriate behavior. Provide training on how to intervene safely and effectively.
  16. Leaders, supervisors, and managers must set a good example by exhibiting respectful and professional behavior. They should be approachable and available to address concerns and act promptly and decisively to address inappropriate behavior.

How to Create an Effective Anti-Harassment Policy Under Title IX

20 Ways to Prevent Quid Pro Quo Harassment Under Title IX

VII. What to Do if You Are the Victim of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

what to do
What to do? – This image is from Pexels.com’s free stock

If you are the victim of quid pro quo harassment, there are a few things you can do:

  • Document the harassment. Keep a record of all unwanted sexual advances, comments, and threats.
  • Report the harassment to your employer or supervisor. If your employer or supervisor does not address the harassment, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • File a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces laws prohibiting employment discrimination.
  • Take legal action. You can take legal action if your employer violates your rights.

A. Reporting Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Reporting
Reporting – This image is from Pexels.com’s free stock

1. Internal Channels:

a. HR Department: Every organization should have an established HR department responsible for handling employee complaints. Reporting to HR ensures that the complaint is documented and formally addressed within the company’s structure.

b. Supervisor or Manager: If the harasser is not a direct supervisor, reporting to one’s immediate supervisor or a trusted manager can initiate action within the department.

2. External Channels:

a. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): The EEOC enforces federal laws against employment discrimination, including quid pro quo harassment. Filing a complaint with the EEOC can trigger a formal investigation and potential legal action.

b. State or Local Fair Employment Agencies: Many states and localities have fair employment agencies that mirror the EEOC’s role. These agencies can provide alternative avenues for pursuing complaints.

c. Attorney: Consulting with an employment law attorney can provide legal guidance, assess the strength of the case, and explore options for filing a lawsuit.

Victims of quid pro quo harassment are entitled to confidentiality throughout the reporting process, ensuring that their personal information and incident details remain private. Additionally, they are protected from retaliation by employers, who cannot take any adverse actions against them for reporting harassment.

3. Tips On Reporting Harassment

Gathering Evidence
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Reporting quid pro quo harassment requires careful preparation, clear communication, and continued support. Before reporting, gather evidence, choose an appropriate channel, and prepare mentally. During the process, be clear, concise, and professional. After reporting, follow up, seek support, and consider legal options if necessary.

Please check the sample letter on reporting quid pro quo harassment.

B. Proving Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Establishing quid pro quo harassment requires proving an exchange of employment benefits for sexual favors, the harasser’s authority, the unwelcome nature of the advances, and the conditionality of benefits on submission.

1. Gathering and Presenting Evidence

Evidence is crucial for proving quid pro quo harassment. Types of evidence include:

  • Direct Evidence: Statements from witnesses who saw or heard the harassment occur.
  • Circumstantial Evidence: Evidence that supports the claim without directly proving the harassment, such as emails, text messages, or changes in job assignments.
  • Documentation: Records of complaints, performance reviews, or medical records can corroborate the claim

Proving quid pro quo harassment can be challenging due to the subjective nature of unwelcome advances, the fear of retaliation from the harasser or employer, and the lack of direct evidence, often relying on circumstantial evidence.

To overcome challenges in proving quid pro quo harassment, gather evidence promptly, report the incident promptly, and seek legal counsel to ensure the process is handled correctly and your rights are protected.

VIII. Resources for Victims of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

If you are the victim of quid pro quo harassment, several resources are available to help you. Here are a few:

ResourceURL/Helpline
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)https://www.eeoc.gov/
U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR)http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)https://www.rainn.org/
Workplace Bullying Institutehttps://workplacebullying.org/
Not Alonehttps://urnotalone.org/
End Workplace Harassmenthttps://endworkplaceabuse.com/
Stop Violence Against Womenhttp://www.stopvaw.org/
National Center for Victims of Crimehttps://victimsofcrime.org/
Equal Rights Advocateshttps://www.equalrights.org/
U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR)https://nwlc.org/
Useful and Powerful Resources for the Victims of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

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  2. K. (2022, April 15). Anti Sexual Harassment-Quid pro quo Case Study. KelpHR. https://www.kelphr.com/blogs/anti-sexual-harassment-quid-pro-quo-case-study/
  3. Gurchiek, K. (2019, August 16). Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Should Involve Real Conversations. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/sexual-harassment-prevention-training-should-involve-real-conversations.aspx
  4. Wigert, B. S. M. A. B. (2023, July 27). This Fixable Problem Costs U.S. Businesses $1 Trillion. Gallup.com. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/247391/fixable-problem-costs-businesses-trillion.aspx
  5. Statistics | RAINN. (n.d.). https://www.rainn.org/statistics
  6. JOSSO 2 by Atricore. (n.d.). https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/presentations/pages/documentingdisciplinaryissues.aspx
  7. Explore our featured insights. (2023, October 5). McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/insights
  8. Alexander, C. (n.d.). Power imbalances are at the root of sexual Harassment – but statements like Andrew Cuomo’s don’t acknowledge that inconvenient fact. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/power-imbalances-are-at-the-root-of-sexual-harassment-but-statements-like-andrew-cuomos-dont-acknowledge-that-inconvenient-fact-158401
  9. Atske, S. (2021, May 25). The State of Online Harassment | Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/01/13/the-state-of-online-harassment/
  10. American Psychological Association (APA). (n.d.). https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/
  11. Title IX and Sex Discrimination. (n.d.). https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/tix_dis.html
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  16. Harassment. (n.d.). US EEOC. https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/small-business/harassment
  17. Butler Snow | Fifth Circuit Says Failure-to-Hire Discrimination Claim May be Supportable Even if Plaintiff Applies for Position that is Unavailable. (n.d.). https://www.butlersnow.com/news-and-events/fifth-circuit-says-failure-to-hire-discrimination-claim-may-be-supportable-even-if-plaintiff-applies-for-position-that-is-unavailable
  18. {{meta.pageTitle}}. (n.d.). {{Meta.siteName}}. https://www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-86
  19. Zaid Alrawadieh, Derya Demirdelen Alrawadieh, Hossein G. T. Olya, Gul Erkol Bayram & Onur Cuneyt Kahraman (2022) Sexual harassment, psychological well-being, and job satisfaction of female tour guides: the effects of social and organizational support, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 30:7, 1639-1657, DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2021.1879819
  20. O’Donohue, W., Downs, K., & Yeater, E. A. (1998). Sexual harassment: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 3(2), 111-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1359-1789(97)00011-6
  21. Howard, L. G. (2008, August 21). The Sexual Harassment Handbook. Readhowyouwant.
  22. Paludi, M. A., & Barickman, R. B. (1991, January 1). Academic and Workplace Sexual Harassment. State University of New York Press.
  23. Robertiello, G. (2021, August 9). Sexual Harassment and Misconduct. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.

Junaid Khan

Junaid Khan is an expert on harassment laws since 2009. He is a passionate advocate for victims of harassment and works to educate the public about harassment laws and prevention. He is also a sought-after speaker on human resource management, relationships, parenting, and the importance of respecting others.

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