For many of us, our career is more than just a paycheck. It is also what gives us purpose and helps us grow as a person. When you have worked hard to get a certain job, you may be willing to do almost anything to keep it. Unfortunately, some employers take advantage of this and attempt to gain sexual favors from their employees. To be clear, asking an employee for sexual contact in exchange for workplace benefits is illegal sexual harassment. If you have faced this situation, you should know that you are not alone and that there are resources to help you.
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
The two main types of sexual harassment under the law are hostile work environment harassment and quid pro quo harassment. Quid pro quo is a Latin term which means “this for that.” Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employer, boss, or supervisor attempts to trade sexual contact for work benefits. This type of harassment can happen when an employer makes sexual activity with a prospective employee a requirement for getting the job or it can happen when a current employee is solicited by a superior.
Sexual Harassment May Be Subtle
This type of harassment does not have to be explicit. Even the implication that sexual activity will result in work benefits or continued employment may be enough to meet the legal definition of sexual harassment. For example, if a boss makes a sexual advance toward an employee and says something like, “I know you cannot afford to lose your job,” it is reasonable to assume the boss means that he or she will fire the employee if the employee does not agree to the sexual contact....