When harassment occurs in the workplace, everybody suffers. Do not assume that the direct target of the harassment, whether it is sexual harassment or harassment based on the victim’s race, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation, is the only one whose mental health suffers when harassment occurs. The whole team can suffer from the effects of sexual harassment like management “playing favorites” and a culture where victims feel they cannot speak up about their experiences.
Also, do not assume that sexual harassment is only something that is committed by men against women. Women can be perpetrators of sexual harassment as well and it is as possible for an individual to sexually harass members of his or her own gender as well as those of the opposite gender.
Quid Pro Quo versus Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
There are two categories of sexual harassment: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment. In a hostile work environment, sexual harassment is accepted as “the norm” and either ignored or encouraged by management.
Quid pro quo, “this for that,” sexual harassment occurs when an individual negotiates sexual and romantic attention for favorable treatment. For example, a supervisor who asks an employee to engage in a sexual relationship in exchange for a promotion or a raise is engaging in an act of quid pro quo sexual harassment. With this type of sexual harassment, there is a power difference at play. This often compounds the victim’s feeling that he or she has to comply with the requests or face termination, demotion, or poor treatment in the workplace.
What Can I Do if I am a Victim of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?
If you are a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, document everything you experience. Document every comment and request from your supervisor with the date, time, and context of the interaction. Provide this evidence to your company’s Human Resources department. If this does not cause the harassment to stop, you will need to file a sexual harassment claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to support your claim and work with the EEOC through your case’s investigation. If the EEOC finds that quid pro quo sexual harassment did occur and you experienced financial damages as a result, you may be able to receive a settlement to compensate for these damages. If the EEOC does not find that sexual harassment occurred, your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit to have the court rule on your case.
Work with an Experienced New York Sexual Harassment Attorney
Sexual harassment is never an acceptable workplace behavior. If you face quid pro quo or hostile work environment sexual harassment in your workplace, an experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you file a claim with the EEOC and pursue compensation for your damages resulting from the harassment. To learn more, schedule your initial consultation with Ricotta & Marks, P.C. today and call (347)-464-8694.