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Harassment & Discrimination

The Lesser Known Sexual Harassment: Quid Pro Quo


By WPA Jan 31, 2013

Quid Pro Quo - Redefined:

Most people think they know the definition of quid pro quo sexual harassment: an exchange of sexual favors for employment benefits. The well known “sleep with me for the job” is the most common example of quid pro quo harassment.

But there are less obvious types of quid pro quo harassment. Workplace Answers’ sexual harassment training modules help your staff and managers understand how some actions could be harassment, even unwittingly:

  • A group regularly discusses adult topics: those who don’t participate are not part of their “click.”
  • Managers hire/promote people who won’t be offended by the group that uses obscene language.
  • Excluding people from outings, job fairs, or trips because they’re easily offended.
  • Employees who “don’t join in” sit separately, or are subjected to the behavior unwillingly.
  • Break/lunch room areas uncomfortable/inaccessible for those who don’t participate in inappropriate conversations.

In all these instances, the exchange of a sexually-oriented behavior is required to: join the group, participate in the activity, or use the facility. While there is no direct verbal or physical attack or demand, the act of excluding them or forcing them to be exposed or lose access could be considered quid pro quo sexual harassment. Training is necessary to recognize this behavior.

Recognizing and preventing sexual harassment training modules from Workplace Answers clarify behavior that could be considered sexual harassment. Our sexual harassment training classes illustrate how to steer clear of exclusionary behavior, or actions that cause discomfort or avoidance, in the overall effort to prevent sexual harassment.

Your staff may not even realize they’re causing harm. Make sure they understand how to prevent sexual harassment with training from Workplace Answers.

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