Quid pro quo is a Latin term that means ‘something for something.’ In the workplace, quid pro quo usually takes the form of a manager or authority figure hinting that they will give their employee something valuable in exchange for the employee fulfilling a sexual request.
Sexual harassment claims generally fall into one of two categories: quid pro quo or hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor demands sexual favors as a condition for job benefits. For example, an employee who is disciplined or terminated for not acquiescing to a supervisor’s advances may have experienced quid pro quo harassment.
Burden of Proof
To prove a workplace sexual harassment lawsuit claiming quid pro quo, you must be able to prove that certain elements existed. These elements generally include:
- that you are a member of a protected class;
- that you were subject to unwelcome sexual harassment in the form of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;
- the harassment was based on your sex/gender;
- that your submission to the unwelcomed advances was an express or implied condition for receiving job benefits;
- that your refusal to submit to a superior’s sexual demands resulted in a tangible job detriment; and
- that liability may be imputed to the employer.
Courts need proof that the underlying harassment resulted in an important employment action. For example, you were fired or passed over for a promotion for refusing the advances.
Importantly, you may still have a claim even if you submitted to the requests.
Generally, an employer is liable for quid pro quo harassment by its supervisors and managers.
Victims of quid pro quo harassment can recover settlements for lost:
- benefits; or
- employment opportunities.
You may also be able to claim compensation for emotional distress, including getting your job back (if you were unduly let go). Punitive damages may also be awarded if the violations were egregious, as a way of discouraging such actions in the future.
Resolving Unjust Employment Issues
Coming forward with a quid pro quo harassment claim can be extremely difficult. Our employment law attorneys understand the sensitive nature of these situations and will do everything in our power to help you restore your rights as an employee in Tennessee.
Contact our firm online or give us a call at (901) 209-5500 to schedule your consultation today.