Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Employment Lawyers Representing Los Angeles Workers

Sexual harassment is divided into two categories: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment happens when a job is conditioned on sexual favors. For example, if your manager offers to promote you if you share a hotel room with him on a business trip, this would be quid pro quo sexual harassment. At the Nourmand Law Firm, our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys may be able to counsel and represent you in a quid pro quo sexual harassment lawsuit.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Quid pro quo harassment is prohibited under federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Title VII only applies to employers that have a minimum of 15 employees, and it caps damages based on the size of the employer. In most cases, a California employee has more protection under FEHA.

Quid pro quo harassment may involve unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, and inappropriate talk of sex by a figure at work who has some authority over you. It generally cannot be perpetrated by a coworker; for the most part, it is committed by a supervisor or manager. It can be couched as a threat or an offer. For example, if your supervisor threatens to terminate you if you do not give him a blowjob, this is one kind of quid pro quo sexual harassment. Moreover, if the CEO hints that he will put in a good word for you to be promoted if you will sleep with him, this is also quid pro quo harassment.

To prove quid pro quo harassment under FEHA, you will need to prove that you were an employee of the defendant or applied to the defendant for a job, the harasser made unwelcome sexual advances or engaged in other unwelcome physical behavior of a sexual nature, and the terms of employment, favorable working conditions, or job benefits were made contingent on your acceptance of sexual overtures or actions. Your attorney also must show that at the time of the harassment, the harasser was your supervisor or an agent for your employer, you were harmed, and the harasser's actions were a substantial factor in causing the harm.

Under FEHA, an employer can be held responsible for sexual harassment by an employee who is a supervisor or manager as soon as it takes place. This is in contrast to California employer liability for a coworker's acts or comments, for which liability is contingent on giving notice, or situations in which an employer should have known about the harassment but failed to take immediate and appropriate measures to correct the problem.

While you should give notice to your employer of a supervisor's quid pro quo sexual harassment, and the employer should conduct a prompt investigation to look into your complaint and take corrective measures, the employer can be held liable for the supervisor's quid pro quo harassment even if it does not formally or actually know of it. Under FEHA, a supervisor is any individual who has the authority in the employer's interests to transfer, hire, lay off, suspend, promote, recall, discharge, reward, assign, or discipline other employees or is responsible for directing them, adjusting their grievances, or effectively recommending those actions based on the use of independent judgment.

Damages that you may be able to recover include back pay, emotional distress, and injunctive relief. For truly egregious conduct, punitive damages may also be available. While you can be reinstated as a remedy for sexual harassment that resulted in a termination, many workers find that relations with their employer have grown too strained as a result of the quid pro quo harassment to make this a productive relationship. Many workers would prefer to obtain front pay.

Discuss Your Options with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Los Angeles

If you need to bring a quid pro quo sexual harassment lawsuit against your employer, the Nourmand Law Firm may be able to represent you. Our attorneys offer advocacy to workers who have been harmed in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and other cities in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form.

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