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What is the legal definition of 'quid pro quo' harassment?

Ancient Latin phrasing persists in the modern legal lexicon. One such phrase is quid pro quo. Literally, quid pro quo means this for that.

When you apply quid pro quo to on-the-job sexual harassment it essentially means that an employee is being offered something by his or her employer in exchange for giving sexual favors or submitting to sexual advances. Quid pro quo may also apply to situations in which a boss threatens to fire an employee if he or she doesn't provide sexual favors or submit to sexual advancements. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable position where your sexual conduct is a condition of your employment benefits and/or job advancement -- or if your sexual conduct is required to prevent a negative action against you -- you are being victimized by quid pro quo harassment.

Here is the legal definition of a quid pro quo violation, which includes:

  • Behavior that is usually considered to be sexual harassment, such as, sexual advances, propositions, graphic discussions, commenting on an employee's body and other overly sexualized behavior.
  • A term of employment is implied or expressly stated, in other words, a condition is offered that will be met upon the acceptance of an unwanted sexual advance made by a supervisor or person of authority in a workplace.

If you're dealing with a difficult situation relating to sexual harassment at your workplace, you can fight back in court. Not only can you make the sexual harassment stop, but you can pursue compensation for financial damages and other types of damages, pain, suffering and emotional turmoil that the harassment has caused.

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