Skip to main content
CaliforniaEmployment LawSexual Harassment

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment in California Workplace

By Lisa LeeMay 1, 2024No Comments

In the diverse and vibrant workplaces of California, employees should feel safe, respected, and free from harassment of any kind. Unfortunately, sexual harassment remains a persistent issue, casting a shadow over the professional lives of many workers. ‘Quid Pro Quo’ harassment is a particularly egregious form of sexual harassment. A reliable employment law attorney can help you understand and protect your legal rights.

What is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

Quid pro quo, a Latin phrase meaning “something for something,” is a form of sexual harassment in which an individual in a position of power or authority makes unwelcome sexual advances or demands sexual favors from a subordinate. It’s usually with the implication that compliance will result in favorable treatment, job security, promotions, or other job-related benefits. In essence, it involves the exchange of sexual conduct or favors for professional opportunities.

Key elements of quid pro quo sexual harassment include:

  • Power Imbalance: It typically involves a power differential between the harasser (often a supervisor or manager) and the victim (an employee or subordinate).
  • Unwelcome Advances: The advances, requests, or demands must be unwelcome, meaning the victim did not voluntarily consent or initiate the conduct.
  • Tangible Employment Action: Quid pro quo harassment often results in tangible employment actions, such as demotions, terminations, or unfavorable work assignments, when the victim refuses to comply with the harasser’s demands.

Legal Recourse for Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Victims

Victims of quid pro quo sexual harassment in California have legal recourse to seek justice:

  • File a Complaint: Victims can file a complaint with their employer, who is obligated to investigate and address the issue internally.
  • California Civil Rights Department (CRD): Victims can also file a complaint with the CRD, the state agency responsible for enforcing employment laws.
  • Legal Action: Victims may choose to pursue a civil lawsuit against their harasser and/or employer, seeking compensation for damages suffered.

If you believe you have been a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment or require legal guidance on any workplace harassment issue, you should speak with experienced employment law attorneys.

Compensation for Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment in California Workplace

Quid pro quo sexual harassment is an affront to human dignity and professional ethics. By understanding and actively addressing this form of harassment, you can ensure a more inclusive, respectful, and just environment for other employees. Here are the steps you can take to seek compensation if you have experienced quid pro quo sexual harassment:

  • Document the Harassment: Include dates, times, locations, descriptions of what occurred, any witnesses, and any written or electronic evidence such as emails or messages.
  • Report the Harassment Internally: Notify your employer’s human resources department or a designated authority within the company about the harassment.
  • Consult an Attorney: Consider consulting an experienced employment law attorney who specializes in sexual harassment cases. They can provide legal advice, evaluate your situation, and guide you through the legal process.
  • File a Complaint with the CRD: You have three years from the date of the harassment to file a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD).
  • CRD Investigation: The CRD will investigate your complaint and may attempt to resolve it through mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, they will provide you with a right-to-sue notice.
  • File a Lawsuit: You have one year from the date of the notice to file a lawsuit against the harasser and/or your employer. Your attorney will help you prepare and file the lawsuit.

If you prevail in your lawsuit, you may be eligible for various forms of compensation, including compensatory and punitive damages.

Our Capable and Resourceful Employment Law Attorneys are Ready to Fight for You

The experienced employment law attorneys at Walton Law, A.P.C., are dedicated to building a strong case and ensuring your rights are protected. Our attorneys will take care of everything from initial reporting to a potential lawsuit, and work tirelessly to obtain the compensation you are entitled to. To set up your complimentary consultation, call 866-338-7079 or reach us online.