Requests for Sexual Favors in the Workplace

Your ability to receive a promotion, or even maintain your current job, should be based solely on your skill and the hard work you perform within the scope of your employment. If you have experienced a request for a sexual favor in the workplace, from either a manager or supervisor, in order to either keep either your current position or receive any kind of promotion, this is sexual harassment and it is illegal.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace has been defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that explicitly or implicitly affect an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance; or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

If a member of management requests sexual favors from you in order to continue your employment or receive a promotion, this is a specific type of sexual harassment known as “quid pro quo.” This Latin term meaning, “this for that,” is a legal term meaning that your manager or employer expects that you will give something to get something in return. If your manager or employer is seeking sexual favors in return for you to continue your employment, receive preferential treatment, obtain a pay raise, or be offered a promotion, their actions constitute quid pro quo sexual harassment.

In a quid pro quo claim, the sexual request must come from a person in authority, or with a superior position, such as a manager or supervisor. There must be a clear indication that the “quid pro quo” directly involves the ability of the victim to either keep their job or receive preferential treatment in some way.

My supervisor has hinted at a request for a sexual favor. What should I do?

Clearly, requests for sexual favors in exchange for work-related rewards between a supervisor and/or manager and a subordinate employeeare inappropriate in the workplace. Additionally, if a demotion or firing occurs due to the non-compliance of the victim regarding the sexual advances, this is also illegal. If one of your supervisors or managers has requested a sexual favor in the workplace from you, you should file an official report or grievance with a manager with higher authority than the perpetrator.

While filing an official report with your employer can be a scary process, federal law requires you to file your sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the incident.

At California Employment Counsel, APC, we know that you have the right to work in a safe environment free from “quid pro quo” illegal requests for sexual favors. If your sexual harassment grievance regarding a request from management for a sexual favor from you has been met with opposition from your employer, we can help.

Our experienced lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss your rights, help you file an EEOC complaint, and represent you in court, if necessary. Contact us online or call (714) 462-8376 to discuss your legal rights today.

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