Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

El Segundo Lawyers Helping Employees

In California, federal and state laws prohibit sexual harassment. In some cases, employees may allege that they experienced both quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment at their place of employment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a supervisor or manager conditions employment or a job benefit to submitting to unwanted sexual advances. If you experienced quid pro quo sexual harassment at work, you should talk to an experienced El Segundo sexual harassment attorney at the Calderone Law Firm.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) forbid quid pro quo sexual harassment. If employment or a job benefit was conditioned on you acquiescing to unwanted sexual advances, you may have been the victim of quid pro quo harassment. For instance, if your manager promised you a raise if you would sleep with him, you may have a claim for quid pro quo sexual harassment. Other work benefits that could be used as part of quid pro quo harassment include job offers, positive performance evaluations, promotions, greater opportunities, or better hours. It’s improper for employment decisions to be framed as events that would be affected by an employee’s provision of a sexual or romantic favor.

To show quid pro quo sexual harassment under CACI 2520, you’ll need to show that: (1) you were a job applicant, an employee or someone providing services under contract to the defendant, (2) the harasser made unwanted sexual overtures or engaged in some other unwanted speech or actions that were sexual, (3) the terms of your job, employment, or working conditions were made conditional upon your acceptance of sexual overtures or actions, (4) the harasser was an agent or supervisor for the defendant, (5) you were harmed, and (6) the harasser’s actions were a substantial factor in causing your harm.

It can be difficult to show these elements when a manager or supervisor has only hinted that a favorable or adverse employment action will be conditioned on your acquiescence. However, even if there is no concrete action taken because you refused, you may still have a claim for hostile work environment harassment, another category of sexual harassment. Have an experienced lawyer review the merits of your case.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Quid pro quo harassment is also illegal under Title VII, a federal law that applies to employers with at least fifteen employees. To establish a claim under Title VII, you’ll need to show: (1) you’re a member of a protected class, (2) you faced unwanted sexual harassment that took the shape of sexual overtures or a request for sexual favors, (3) the unwanted overtures or harassing behavior was based on your sex, (4) submission to unwanted overtures were an express or implied condition to get job benefits or refusal to submit to a supervisor’s sexual demands led to a concrete adverse employment decision, and (5) the employer was responsible for the supervisor’s actions.

Filing a Complaint for Quid Pro Quo Harassment

If you’ve faced workplace sexual harassment, you should let the harasser know that the behavior is unwelcome and notify your employer of what happened. Your employer may not retaliate against you for reporting unwanted harassment. You should follow any steps detailed within your employment handbook. Or, if the workplace has no employment handbook, you should notify HR or a person in the company that’s more senior than the harasser. You can pursue damages under FEHA by filing a complaint with Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within three years of the quid pro harassment. This action is a prerequisite to filing suit. You can only sue after receiving a right to sue notice.

Retain an El Segundo Attorney

If you are concerned about quid pro quo sexual harassment, you should discuss your situation with the seasoned lawyer at the Calderone Law Firm. We have many years of experience in handling quid pro quo harassment lawsuits for clients in El Segundo, Torrance, Los Angeles, as well as throughout Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties. Call us at (424) 348-8290 or complete our online form.