Quid Pro Quo Examples

Quid Pro Quo Examples

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Quid pro quo examples range from covering a friend for his/her lie in exchange for him/her covering for you, to a supervisor requesting sexual favors as a condition for advancements. The most prevalent ones are quid pro quo sexual harassment. Despite widespread news reports of quid pro quo in multiple workplaces, the occurrence of such activities continues. So, it is better for organizations to know what is quid pro quo and how to avoid it before it is considered illegal.

What is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that means “this for that”. In quid pro quo sexual harassment, the harasser is in the position of authority. For instance, the harasser could be a supervisor. The harasser uses their power over the employee to initiate the bargaining process by promising job benefits or removal or a job privilege as part of the exchange.  

Quid pro quo sexual harassment may occur when the demands are made in exchange for employment benefits like a raise, bonuses, and promotion. Finally, an employer who rakes employment action like terminating, demoting, and reassigning against an employee may be liable for quid pro quo sexual harassment. 

Difference between Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment 

The critical difference between a hostile work environment and quid pro quo is who is involved. In quid pro quo situations, decisions related to hiring, firing, promotion, shift assignment, salaries, etc., are based on whether the victim is receptive to sexual advances. Whereas in a hostile work environment, the employer is required t respond to complaints of gender discrimination and sexual harassment by the victim's superior, co-workers, contract workers, or even customers. 

Quid Pro Quo Examples 

There are a lot of quid pro quo sexual harassment examples. Some of them are:

  1. Requesting sexual favors for hiring 

Laura goes to a job interview, where the interviewer begins to ask her personal questions which are not related to the job description. It makes her feel uncomfortable. The interviewer comes out from behind of their desk and sits on the edge of her chair, puts their hand on her shoulder, and says that if she gets this job, she will have to spend a lot of time together in a sexually suggestive way. 

  1. Threatening to terminate someone if sexual favor stops 

In quid pro quo sexual harassment, the two people- one supervisor and the employee are in a consensual sexual relationship. The supervisor feels that the employee is losing interest in the relationship and threatens to fire them if they stop having an intimate relationship. 

  1. Promising a raise for sexual favors

This type of quid pro quo harassment is more common than we think. For instance, Michelle is working in the office, and her supervisor has made his interest in her very clear, and she has consistently shut down his advances. However, he offers a promotion if she agrees to go out with him or get intimate because her supervisor thinks he is sure they will hit it off. 

  1. Expecting sexual favors for benefits 

Kenny's boss has bought tickets to the company's yearly getaway and suggests she can pay him back later, but it must be a sexual favor. This scenario could include many other benefits like giving them a more favorable assignment or a company car. 

How to Report a Sexual Harassment Case?

Report the case, and the committee will initiate the investigation as soon as possible. It would take approximately ten working days to start the investigation. The victim or the harasser will have to attend the meetings, and the company will make a final verdict based on the discussion. The action taken will notify the complainant five days after the last session. If either party is not satisfied with the decision, they can appeal to the Managing Director to reconsider and make a final decision.

The company's job is not to victimize the sufferer and not discriminate while dealing with the complaint. The victim can either apply for transfer or discuss with Human Resources regarding the transfer of the harasser. While the process continues, the complainant's identity is kept anonymous to prevent their discomfort. If some third-party person does the harassment, the company will take necessary actions. The victim has an option for a few days off or transfer to a related company's business or stay in the same department. 

How to Avoid Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

Businesses suffer if they are responsible for the act done under their supervision. For instance, employers in a company can be liable for sexual harassment committed by their staff members and have to defend themselves. 

Here are a few things that help prevent any sexual harassment 

  • Involve the management

The board and CEO of the organization should have a zero-tolerance policy against any hostile or quid pro quo harassment. They should take strict action and make it clear that the punishment for the same applies to the whole organization regardless of their title. The board should regularly review the data on quid pro quo harassment. For instance, please record how many harassment cases are reported and how long it takes to resolve the claims. The company should also approve an anti-harassment policy and include training courses related to sexual harassment in the workplace for both employees and employers. 

  • Ensure that employees have access to anonymous channels 

Everyone in the organization should have a piece of knowledge about the reporting channels where they can report their issues while being anonymous. It can be challenging to investigate, but the reporter can feel safe and comfortable sharing more information. 

  • Have anti-harassment policies

It is necessary to have an anti-harassment policy in each organization; it is the organization's duty to ensure that all the employees know about it and have signed it. The main objective of having an anti-harassment policy is to eliminate any harassment, sexual or verbal, and deal with any harassment in a sensitive, prompt, and unbiased manner. This encourages and promotes that the company is a harassment-free workplace. 

  • Make training lessons mandatory.

Education has safeguarded inappropriate behavior and given the power to those who have faced sexual harassment and reported the case. Training helps build a safe community within the firm where everyone works together towards the same goal. There should be a demo session on how employees react when they see someone getting harassed in the workplace or outside.  

  • Don't wait for an employee to report 

Be responsive and include questions in the survey about whether the employees have seen an act of sexual harassment and ask whether they have reported it or not. Taking immediate actions shows the efficiency of a company's reporting program. 

Final Words

Quid pro quo is a severe kind of harassment that can affect an employee's physical and mental peace. Such experiences can even let the employees leave their jobs, taking their ideas, connections, and potential. It leads to companies losing their valuable assets. Harassment can great a negative impact on the cohesion and functioning of teams. Companies can lose their helpful employees if they don't work to eliminate sexual harassment. 

Such incidents can be reduced by employee training, transparency, and proactive responses, creating a safe, healthy, and more productive workplace for everyone.

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