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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Quid pro quo harassment can damage an employee's career

Individuals who work in California are protected from harassment and discrimination when they are performing the duties of their jobs. The laws that apply to many employers ensure that workers are not treated badly by their employers due to the workers' races, genders, religious beliefs and other protected classes. Workers are also protected from sexual harassment when they are at work through the application of several important laws.

One particularly damaging form of sexual harassment that some workers face is quid pro quo harassment. This form harassment basically places a condition on an employee's acquiescence to a sexual request to getting a positive employment action. For example, an employer may claim that a worker must go on a date with them if the worker wants to be considered for a promotion.

Employees should not have to leverage their emotions and bodies in order to get ahead in the workplace. As such, employers may not make hiring and firing decisions based on quid pro quo harassment, nor may they use it in the decision-making processes of promoting, demoting or changing work responsibilities for employees.

Quid pro quo translates to "something for something" and in the employment context the "something" that an employee gives to their employer should not be sexual in nature. A worker who performs their duties well and to the standards of their employer should not be asked for sexually-charged favors in order to get ahead. Any reader who has experienced quid pro quo harassment or any other form of harassment or discrimination in the workplace may have a claim against the entity which allowed them to experience such detriment.

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