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Quid pro quo sexual harassment: What you should know

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As a California employee, you are entitled to work in a safe environment, free from discrimination and harassment. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, companies that have 15 or more employees are held to strict regulations regarding harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Sexual harassment involves a multitude of actions, including verbal comments, unwanted advances, explicit language and requests for sexual favors, according to the American Bar Association.

What is quid pro quo harassment?

In some cases, these requests and demands for sexual acts may be directly tied to job advancement or even retainment of your position in the company. This is referred to as quid pro quo sexual harassment and surprisingly, it is rather common in businesses in California and throughout the nation.

In this type of situation, the harasser is often an owner, manager or has some position of power over the victim. For example, a manager may tell an employee that they must go on a date with them or engage in other sexual activities in order to climb up the corporate ladder.

Who is responsible?

If a supervisor or manager is found engaging in quid pro quo sexual harassment, the employer is held liable for any damages. In order to prevent this from happening, many companies incorporate regular sexual harassment training.

If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual harassment, you should alert a supervisor immediately. Yet, if your supervisor is the abuser, you should confront another manager or your supervisor’s superiors.

Everyone has the right to earn job promotions, raises and advancements based on their skills and hard work.