A career in a profession you enjoy makes working less of a chore. When the workplace turns toxic and menacing, it can become harder to drag yourself there day after day.
While many forms of work harassment exist, one of the most threatening and damaging is that which revolves around favors. If someone uses intimidation to get you to submit, it may rise to quid pro quo harassment. Learn how to identify and report this toxic and abusive workplace behavior.
What is quid pro quo harassment?
Quid pro quo harassment involves a superior at work, either a direct manager or not. A situation may arise where this higher-up asks you to do something to gain an advantage and advance your career. The act, however, is almost always sexual. Whether it is a request for a date or an overt proposition to perform a sex act, a quid pro quo situation almost always revolves around the exchange of sex for this advancement.
What can you do if you become a victim?
The most difficult element in a quid pro quo situation is the offender’s power at work and because this is a manager or supervisor, you may feel unable to report the harassment. This power dynamic makes the harassment even more detrimental to the workplace since there are likely other victims of this abuse. Finding a haven may feel impossible; however, there is always a way out. Report the incident to the human resources department or a trustworthy supervisor. If you do not get a response, you may have to report the behavior to a federal or state regulatory labor agency.
Most workplace harassment revolves around the exertion of power and control over others. Regardless of who the perpetrator is, you have the right to feel safe and secure within your job.