Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Attorneys in New York Help Victims File Claims

New York City sexual harassment attorneys at Leeds Brown believe that places of employment should be free of discrimination, bullying, and harassment. Employees in New York City, Long Island and nationwide should never have to endure taunting or intimidation at their places of work.

Despite the many laws that prohibit such behavior, we have seen a growing number of lawsuits that involve all types of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If you have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination based on your gender, religion or race, Leeds Brown may be able to help you file a claim against your employer.

Two Types of New York Sexual Harassment: Hostile Work Environment and Quid Pro Quo

Sexual harassment occurs when an employee is the victim of verbal or physical abuse of a sexual nature. The harassment can include acts like inappropriate joke telling or unwanted hugging. A sexual harassment victim may be a man or woman. The same is true for the perpetrator of the harassment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines define sexual harassment as follows: “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

Workplace sexual harassment generally falls into two main categories: “hostile work environment” sexual harassment and “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. Both types are prohibited by federal and state legislation. Both types may cause innocent employees to experience emotional, economic, and sometimes physical injuries.

What is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

“Quid pro quo” is a Latin saying that means “something for something.” It means there is an exchange of some kind, presumably things or acts of equal value. In the context of New York City employment law, it takes on a greater meaning.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor tells or suggests to an employee that he or she will make an employment decision based on the employee’s satisfaction of a sexual demand. An employment decision might involve a raise, promotion, new assignment or positive review. Alternatively, the supervisor may threaten to do something negative such as fire, demote or give a negative review, in retaliation for refusing to submit to a sexual demand.

Unlike hostile work environment harassment, quid pro quo sexual harassment can consist of one single sexual demand. Also unlike hostile work environment, the perpetrator must be in a role of greater authority or power than the victim, for example, a manager or supervisor.

How to Prove Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment in New York

Proving quid pro quo sexual harassment may be easier than hostile environment sexual harassment because your entire claim may be based on a single act by the supervisor. You must show; 1) that the supervisor or other person of authority made an unwelcome advance or otherwise harassed you and 2) that some aspect of your job was conditioned on your response. Again, quid pro quo harassment can incorporate a threat of something negative or promise of something positive.

Some common examples that might demonstrate quid pro quo sexual harassment are:

  • Your department head suggests that you have dinner together and you say no. The next day you are moved to a different department to do a job for which you are not qualified.
  • Your boss tells you that if you have sex with him, you will receive an excellent review and a nice raise.
  • Your manager suggests to you that it would be good for your career to go out with him even though you have advised him that you do not think it’s a good idea.
  • During an employment interview, you are told you can have the job if you perform a sexual act.
  • You are fired after letting your supervisor know that, despite her repeated requests, you will not have a romantic dinner with her.
  • Your boss informs you that you will receive a raise next month. After you say thank you he says “you can thank me later.” When you refuse his advance, he does not give you the raise.

To prove quid pro quo harassment (sexual or otherwise) you will need to show that you are a member of a protected class (i.e. gender, race, religion), that there was an unwelcome sexual advance, that the advance was made by a supervisor, and that the harassment negatively affected your employment. If you can prove these elements, your employer will have to provide evidence to the contrary. For example, your boss might try to show that the negative employment decision was based on poor performance.

Who is Responsible for Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

Because supervisors and people in authority are perpetrators of quid pro quo harassment, the employer is often found liable for their actions. In other words, if your manager harasses you, you may have a claim against not only that manager but the company as well. An employer is often held responsible for the actions of its supervisors and managers.

Contact New York Sexual Harassment Attorneys to Recover Damages

New York sex harassment lawyers are available for consultation if you think you have been the victim of sexual harassment or sex discrimination. The respected New York City law firm of Leeds Brown has decades of experience assisting workers to file claims and lawsuits against unscrupulous employers. Our hard working dedicated team of attorneys can help determine if you have a viable claim and compassionately guide you through the process of trying to collect damages for your economic and emotional injuries. We have a proven track record of achieving excellent results for our clients.

Contact Leeds Brown toady at 1-800-585-4658.