No one should ever be expected to tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace. Discrimination on the basis of sex and gender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and numerous other federal and Illinois state laws. Unfortunately, many employees are unaware of their right to report harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is one type of harassment prohibited by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you have been a victim of quid pro quo or another type of sexual harassment at work, contact a sexual harassment attorney for help.
Victims of Quid Pro Quo Harassment May Be Employees or Potential Employees
The term “quid pro quo” is a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “this for that.” Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employer, supervisor, or another person of authority attempts to trade a job-related benefit for sexual contact. The harassing party may imply or outrightly state that an employee will gain a favorable shift, work assignment, positive performance review, promotion, salary increase, or other work-related advantages if he or she tolerates the harassing party’s sexual advances. The harassing party may also threaten negative work consequences, such as a poor performance review or termination, if the employee does not submit to the sexual advances.
A victim of quid pro quo can also be a potential employee who has not yet been hired by the company. For example, an interviewer may make a pass at an applicant during a job interview and imply that the applicant will be hired if he or she complies with the sexual advances. It is very important to note that words, as well as actions, may constitute quid pro quo sexual harassment. An employer or supervisor does not have to explicitly state that a work benefit is contingent upon sexual contact in order to be guilty of quid pro quo harassment.
What Should I Do If I Have Been a Victim of Sexual Harassment?
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, the first thing you should do is document every instance of harassment you have experienced. Include the date, time, location, names of the people involved, and detailed descriptions of the incidents. Next, follow your company’s procedure for reporting sexual harassment. This typically involves reporting the incident to a supervisor or human resources department. It is best to report sexual harassment via e-mail. If the company does not take steps to properly address the harassment and prevent further issues, you are able to file a claim through the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and/or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In some cases, a victim of sexual harassment may choose to bring a sexual harassment lawsuit against the employer. He or she could be awarded back pay, compensation for emotional distress, and more.
Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you find yourself the victim of sexual harassment, you may understandably be unsure of how to handle the situation. For compassionate, dependable legal support, contact MKFM Law today. We will ensure that your constitutional rights are fully protected. Call us today at 630-665-7300 and schedule a confidential consultation with our skilled Illinois sexual harassment attorneys.