Illinois sexual harassment attorneysThe Civil Rights Act of 1964 and several other federal, state, and local laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. Sexual harassment falls under this category of workplace discrimination. There are two main types of sexual harassment addressed by federal law: hostile work environment harassment and “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. Understanding exactly how and when quid pro quo occurs can be difficult—especially when sexual advances are subtle or passed off as a “joke.”

What Does “Quid Pro Quo” Mean?

The phrase quid pro quo means “something for something” in Latin. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employer, manager, supervisor, or another person in an authoritative position uses or attempts to use his or her authority to gain a sexual benefit. The most common example of quid pro quo sexual harassment involves a boss or authority figure offering to give an employee a promotion in exchange for sexual contact. The person of authority may also state that the employee will face a negative work consequence such as a poor performance evaluation or reduced work hours if he or she denies a sexual request. While this overt type of harassment does occur, quid pro quo harassment is often much more subtle. The perpetrator may imply or “joke” that it would be in the employee’s best interest to accept his or her advances. This is still sexual harassment.

Victims of quid pro quo harassment may be male or female. The perpetrators of this type of harassment may also be male or female. Harassment may occur between individuals of the opposite sex or the same sex.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment May Involve an Employee or a Job Candidate

Quid pro quo harassment does not always involve a supervisor and a lower-ranking employee. This unlawful harassment may also involve an applicant or interviewee. If the individual in charge of hiring or interviewing a job candidate implies or outright states that the candidate will have a better chance of getting the job if he or she submits to romantic or sexual requests, the candidate may have experienced sexual harassment.

Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Asking or implying that a current or prospective employee will gain a work-related advantage if he or she submits to a sexual request is unlawful. If you have been the victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, you may be entitled to back pay or other damages. Learn more by contacting an experienced Wheaton sexual harassment attorney at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC. Call us at 630-665-7300 for a completely confidential consultation.