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How do I prove quid pro quo harassment at work?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2022 | Workplace Harassment

All forms of workplace harassment are prohibited by both federal and Ohio laws. If you are sexually harassed at work, you can pursue the perpetrator for damages. 

Quid pro quo is a common form of sexual harassment at work. At the very basic, this is Latin for “something for something.” In the context of workplace harassment, quid pro quo happens when someone uses their position of influence to offer employment-related benefits in exchange for sexual relations.  

The elements of every quid pro quo harassment case

Like in any legal matter, you need to prove quid pro quo to win your lawsuit and receive the damages you may be entitled to. Here are important elements that you need to demonstrate during your quid pro quo claim:

  • You had an employer-employee relationship with the perpetrator
  • The perpetrator was in a position of authority in the organization (such as a supervisor or the recruiting manager)
  • The perpetrator attempted to make sexual advances or engaged in unwanted physical or verbal conduct that was sexual in nature
  • A work-related decision was made based on your acceptance or rejection of the sexual advance

The conduct resulted in substantial economic and non-economic harm to you

So what damages can you pursue in a quid pro quo case?

If you win your case, you may recover damages such as lost income and other work-related benefits, lost employment opportunities as well as emotional distress. In severe cases, the defendant may be compelled to pay punitive damages for purposes of deterring them from engaging in such behavior in the future. 

Sexual harassment at work is reprehensible, to say the least. Knowing your legal options and responsibilities can help you protect your rights and interests if you are sexually harassed at work.