Phillips & Associates

Long Island Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Employment Attorneys Representing People on Long Island

The population of Long Island is roughly evenly divided between male and female, but not every workplace treats the genders equally. Unfortunately, sexual harassment of both men and women is not uncommon. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is one of two categories of sexual harassment. Translated from Latin, it means "this for that." It occurs when sexual favors are traded for job benefits. The other category of sexual harassment is hostile work environment harassment. If you faced quid pro quo sexual harassment, an experienced Long Island sexual harassment lawyer at Phillips & Associates may be able to help you recover damages.

Identifying Situations Involving Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the New York State Human Rights Law prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. Title VII covers employers with a minimum of 15 employees. Sexual harassment is prohibited, no matter how small the employer is, under the New York State Human Rights Law.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an authority figure in the workplace, usually a supervisor or manager, states that they will provide a benefit in return for some sort of sexual favor. For example, if your supervisor says that he will give you a raise if you give him oral sex, this would be quid pro quo harassment. Similarly, if your manager says that he will terminate you unless you have sex with him, this is also quid pro quo harassment. Usually, there is no quid pro quo harassment by coworkers, clients, or customers because they do not have the authority to make hiring or firing decisions. However, if they do somehow have this authority to fire you or demote you, our attorneys may be able to bring a claim based on quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Sometimes the situation is subtler and more complicated. Perhaps a supervisor or manager did not explicitly hinge employment decisions on sexual favors, but you felt that it was implied. An employer can defend itself by showing that you did not receive an adverse employment decision, the employer took measures to stop the harassment after it knew about it, and you unreasonably did not utilize the opportunity that the employer provided to help stop the harassment.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment is actionable only if it is unwelcome. If your boss and you decide to have a consensual sexual relationship, this is likely not quid pro quo harassment. However, under Title VII, having a prior consensual sexual relationship may not prevent you from suing for quid pro quo harassment based on actions after the relationship. For example, if you were going out with your manager, and then you broke up, and he threatened you that he would terminate you if you did not start going out with him again, this would be quid pro quo harassment.

When a woman or man is forced to submit to unwanted sexual advances in exchange for a job benefit, such as a promotion, other employees of the same gender who were qualified for the same benefit but denied it also may have a claim. Our attorneys would need to show that in order to get the job benefit that was at issue, it would have been necessary to provide sexual favors, a condition that was not imposed on the opposite sex. For example, a Title VII violation was found in one case in which an individual was given preferential treatment while she was engaged in a consensual affair with her supervisor. The supervisor had also propositioned or behaved inappropriately toward other female employees. It can be challenging to establish that sex was made the condition for a job benefit when you have not received the benefit. Even so, you may have standing to challenge favoritism as a form of quid pro quo sexual harassment because you were harmed as a result of discrimination.

Consult a Knowledgeable Sexual Harassment Lawyer on Long Island

At Phillips & Associates, we may be able to help you obtain damages if you were subjected to sexual harassment on Long Island. We offer free consultations. There are no upfront fees, and we take cases on a contingency basis, so you do not need to pay our fees unless we recover damages for you. Contact us at (516) 226-7329 or through our online form.

585 Stewart Ave #330
Garden City, NY 11530
Tel: 516-226-7329
Fax: 212-901-2107
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