Understanding The Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Definition

In Pennsylvania and New Jersey workplaces, sexual harassment is prohibited by the federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and either the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, depending on the state in which it occurs. Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome behavior that is of a sexual nature that is directed towards a man or woman in order to harass him or her because of his or her gender. This broad definition of sexual harassment can be broken down further into two types of harassment, including quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment. Both are distinct from each other. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler are available to help you if you have been the victim of either form of harassment in your workplace.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Is Defined As:

In quid pro quo harassment, workers are asked for sexual favors by a supervisor. Their acceptance or rejection of those advances hinge on a job action. In other words, people may be victims of quid pro quo sexual harassment if they are asked to perform a sex act under the promise of a promotion. They are also victims of quid pro quo harassment if they are asked to perform a sex act under the threat of a demotion or job loss if they refuse. This type of harassment can also happen in the recruitment and hiring phase if applicants are asked to perform sexually in order to be chosen for the jobs.

What is The Definition Of Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment includes unwanted advances, inappropriate verbal or sexual conduct or other unwelcome and inappropriate conduct in the workplace that is based on the gender of the targeted victim. Sexual harassment may include a broad variety of different types of actions:

  • Unwelcome touching
  • Ogling
  • Catcalls
  • Obscene jokes
  • Inappropriate texts, emails or phone calls
  • Displays of obscene materials
  • Unwelcome sexual advances

Supervisors, co-workers, clients and customers may all be the perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment.

Elements of a Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Claim

In order to establish a claim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, you will have to prove the following elements of the offense:

  • You were the employee of the defendant’s company or had applied for a job there;
  • The harasser made inappropriate sexual advances or comments;
  • Job benefits were conditioned either verbally or indirectly on your acceptance or rejection of the conduct;
  • The harasser was a supervisor or agent of the company;
  • You were harmed by the conduct; and
  • The harasser’s conduct caused your harm.

Sexual Harassment Legal Remedies

If you are able to prove that you were the victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, you may be afforded multiple legal remedies. You may receive compensation for your lost earnings and benefits, and you may be able to be reinstated to your position. You might also be able to recover damages for the emotional distress that you suffered. Finally, if your case was especially egregious, you might recover punitive damages that are meant to deter companies from similar acts in the future.

Contact Swartz Swidler

If you have been the victim of quid pro quo harassment as an employee or as an applicant, you may have legal rights. Contact Swartz Swidler today to schedule a consultation so that you can learn more about the rights that you might have.