Some things to know about a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim

Despite the strength of the MeToo movement, sexual harassment continues to plague workplaces across the country. As a result, innocent men and women have their jobs and, as a result, their very livelihoods put on the line. This is unacceptable, and those employers who engage in this behavior need to be held accountable.

There are a number of ways to do this, but one of the most common is showing that quid pro quo harassment has occurred. In these cases, an employer does one of two things. Either it promises benefits, such as a promotion or a raise, in exchange for a sexual favor, or it threatens negative action, like demotion or termination, if an employee doesn’t comply with a sexual request.

If you’re able to prove that some sort of employment action was taken against you, then the employer generally must show that its actions were based on a legitimate, legal reason. This may include poor performance or attendance, or insubordination.

To succeed in that argument, though, the employer is likely going to need some sort of documented evidence supporting its claim. If the employer does show other factors that could have contributed to its employment decision, then the employer must refute those claims and show that the employer’s actions were discriminatory.

Employers are typically held strictly liable for sexual harassment that is perpetrated upon employees by managers and supervisors. This is because these higher-level employees are usually considered to be acting on behalf of the business in question.

This doesn’t mean that you need to take your case lightly, though. It’s not always easy to succeed on these claims. You need to know the law and how to develop legal arguments that are persuasive in light of that law and the facts at hand.


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