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b2ap3_thumbnail_hostile-work-environment-claim-form.jpgSexual harassment is a form of sex-based employment discrimination, and it against the law. In general, there are two primary types of workplace sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Both can be damaging to not only the victim’s career but also to their physical and emotional well-being.

“Quid pro quo” is a phrase taken from Latin that means “something for something.” In the context of sexual harassment, it refers to a worker being offered benefits—including continued employment—in exchange for sex-related favors. A manager who promises a raise to a worker if the worker agrees to go on a date with him is probably guilty of quid pro quo harassment. Quid pro quo harassment is often fairly overt and easy to recognize, but this is not always the case with the other type of sexual harassment.

A Hostile Work Environment Can Develop Quietly

Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when the atmosphere in the workplace is such that a reasonable person would find it abusive. A situation may also be considered hostile work environment sexual harassment if the harassment interferes with the victim’s performance of his or her job. This type of harassment is often more subtle than quid pro quo harassment, and the types of behavior involved often give perpetrators what they think is “plausible deniability.”

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysThere are two types of sexual harassment according to the law: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile workplace sexual harassment. A supervisor requiring a subordinate to perform sexual favors in order to keep his or her job, for example, is quid pro quo sexual harassment. An employee who shares sexually explicit images with coworkers or consistently asks them inappropriate questions could be contributing to a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment is not always obvious, and it may sometimes be difficult to know what constitutes harassment.

Signs of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment can include requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. In order to be considered sexual harassment by law, these behaviors generally must be severe and pervasive. The legal definition of what specific behaviors constitute sexual harassment is vague. However, workers should know that inappropriate behavior does not have to be grandiose in order to qualify as sexual harassment. Subtle signs of sexual harassment may include:

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