On behalf of California Employment Counsel, APC on Friday, June 7, 2019.
You’ve probably heard the saying “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” at some point. You understand this to mean that if you do something for someone, the other person will do something for you. This may be acceptable when you are exchanging favors with friends or family, but it has no place at work.
You are already receiving income and benefits in exchange for performing your job duties. No one should tell you that you have to do something personal, such as exchanging sexual favors, in order to keep your job, get a promotion or change your schedule. This is a type of sexual harassment, and you do not have to tolerate it.
“Quid pro quo” sexual harassment
Do you look forward to a promotion, a raise or a better assignment? You should feel as though you can rely on your job performance to obtain these or other job benefits. If your supervisor or someone else with authority over you in the company says you can have what you want as long as you perform some sexual act with him or her, that is quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Are you afraid of losing your job or getting a bad review? Perhaps another round of layoffs is coming at your company, and that same person promises you that you will keep your job if you engage in sexual acts with him or her. This is also quid pro quo sexual harassment. Anytime someone higher up than you requests sexual favors in exchange for something you want or need at work, it violates the law.
You don’t have to put up with it
This action on the part of your superior constitutes a violation of federal and state laws. You do not have to put up with it. You should not have to fear losing your job, your position or any other retaliation for lodging a complaint about it. If an adverse action occurs because you stood up for yourself, it constitutes retaliation, which is also a violation of your rights. If the company does not satisfactorily resolve the issue within the company, you may go outside of it for help.
You may consider simply putting up with the behavior or quitting your job, but studies show that will ultimately affect your mental and physical well-being. Even though it may be a challenge, you have the <a href=”https://www.employment-counsel.com/harassment-at-work/sexual-harassment/”>right to protect yourself</a>, which may include filing a lawsuit. You may feel alone in your ordeal, but you are not, and you do not have to go through the legal process alone. A compassionate and experienced sexual harassment attorney can prove an invaluable advocate during this time.