Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

by Chris Kuhlman on December 23, 2015

Minnesota Sexual Harassment Lawyers


Quid pro quo (Latin: this for that) is a subcategory of sexual harassment that occurs when an employer, boss, or supervisor offers a job benefit in exchange for sexual favors, sex, requests for sex, or a romantic relationship.  Quid pro quo is latin meaning (“this for that”).  Quid pro quo sexual harassment can take many forms.

Examples of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment:

  • A boss or supervisor tells an employee that they will receive a promotion, bonus, or raise if they engage in sexual activity, sex, or a sexual or romantic relationship with the supervisor.
  • A boss or supervisor threatens to demote an employee or reduce an employee’s hours unless they submit to his or her sexual advances or requests.
  • A supervisor provides an employee with undesirable job tasks and assignments if the employee does not agree to his or her sexual advances.
  • A supervisor offers to hire a job applicant on the condition that the job applicant submit to their sexual advances or requests for a romantic relationship.

Sometimes quid pro sexual harassment is easily recognizable when the supervisor makes outright sexual demands to an employee.  Often, however, quid pro quo sexual harassment is much more subtle and the supervisor may use coded language or only indirectly imply that he is interested in a sexual relationship.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment is particularly abhorrent because it involves situations where the supervisor is using his or her position of authority over the employee, making it more difficult for the employee to reject the supervisor’s advances.  It can be difficult to say “no” to a supervisor’s improper requests when you feel your job could be in jeopardy if you decline the requests.  If quid pro quo sexual harassment continues over weeks or months it can even create a hostile work environment, making it difficult for the employee to focus on his or her job.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment is Against the Law in Minnesota

Both the Minnesota Human Rights Act and federal employment laws prohibit quid pro quo sexual harassment.  Victims of quid pro quo sexual harassment are allowed to receive compensatory damages such as lost pay and emotional harm as well as punitive damages (money to punish the employer for their conduct).

No one should be able to place roadblocks in your career simply because you refuse their requests for sexual favors.  If you or a loved one believe that they have been the victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment or subjected to sexual harassment by a person in a position of authority, contact an experienced Minnesota sexual harassment lawyer, Christopher Kuhlman at Kuhlman Law, PLLC today.  If we accept your case, we will vigorously protect your rights and make sure you receive everything that you are entitled to under the law.  Don’t wait the law limits your ability to bring a sexual harassment law claim.

Call (612) 349-2747 for a free and confidential consultation.


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