A lot of people think that sexual harassment has sulked away on account of raised awareness and more affirmative actions taken to stop it. Yet, the sad reality is that sexual harassment lurks in many workplaces. A lot of sexual harassment victims are too ashamed or embarrassed to bring the matter to light, and oftentimes their afraid of what will happen to them if they speak up. Fortunately, the law recognizes sexual harassment as an illegal activity, which means that victims don’t have to speak out on their own. They can use the legal system to help them tell their story, prove their case, and find accountability and closure.

In order to reach that outcome, though, sexual harassment victims need to be familiar with the law and how it applies to them. This week, let’s briefly look at quid pro quo sexual harassment.

The basics of quid pro quo sexual harassment

Quid pro quo essentially means “this for that.” In the sexual harassment context, then, quid pro quo occurs when beneficial employment acts are predicated upon compliance with a sexual favor. For example, a manager may offer a promotion to an employee so long as he or she agrees to engage in sexual intercourse. But quid pro quo doesn’t end there.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment can also occur via threat. In these circumstances, a coworker who is usually in a position of power, threatens to take negative employment action if compliance with a sexual request is withheld. These negative employment actions might include demotion, reduced pay, less favorable work assignments, or even termination.

Build confidence by building your case

If you’ve been subjected to sexual harassment and are feeling uneasy about taking legal action, your nerves are probably on account of the uncertainty about the process and the outcome. While no one can guarantee how your case will turn out, a skilled legal professional can guide you through the process so that you know exactly what to expect. He or she can also help you build the legal strategy that best positions you for success, which will probably help alleviate your concerns considerably.

So, if you’ve been victimized by a sexual harasser and want to find accountability, compensation, and closure, then you should think about reaching out to an attorney who can work zealously advocate on your behalf.