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What do you need to prove quid pro quo sexual harassment?

When you accepted a position with your employer, you more than likely had certain expectations. You expected the atmosphere to be one of camaraderie and mutual respect. Sadly, it didn't turn out that way.

Perhaps your supervisor began making insinuations that if you engaged in sexual acts with him or her, you could get better assignments, a better schedule, a promotion or some other benefit. Maybe it was suggested that putting up with your boss's sexual advances would help you keep your job or keep you from receiving a less-than-stellar review. If this is your situation, you are likely the victim of "quid pro quo" sexual harassment. "Quid pro quo" means "this for that" or "something for something" -- in this case, sexual favors for employment.

In a sexual harassment case, evidence is important

If your concerns fall on deaf ears with your employer, you may go outside of the company for relief. If filing a lawsuit is appropriate in your case, you can expect the court to look for the following from you:

  • You are/were, in fact, employed by the company.
  • Your supervisor is/was employed by the company at the time you say the conduct occurred.
  • Your supervisor made inappropriate requests for sexual favors from you in exchange for something, such as a promotion or a better assignment.
  • You suffered harm due to the situation, and your supervisor played a significant role in it.

Another factor for you to consider is whether your supervisor retaliated against you when you rebuffed his or her advances. While you should keep as much evidence as possible of the sexual harassment, you also need to keep as much evidence as possible of any retaliation. For example, if your supervisor began putting you on undesirable projects, changed your schedule for the worse or gave you a bad review, among other things, it could constitute retaliation. Another indicator of retaliation is if your supervisor terminated you seemingly without good cause.

You don't have to face this alone

More than likely, if your supervisor felt comfortable enough to approach you and ask you for sexual favors, you probably aren't the only one. You may find that when you come forward, others will tell you the same thing happened to them. They may be willing to help you with your claim or even join in on it.

Another important source of support you may want to consider is the advice and assistance of an employment law attorney. Skill legal guidance can increase your chances of success with your claim.

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