Sexual Harassment:

The Two Types of Sexual Harassment

Two types of sexual harassment can occur in the workplace—“quid pro quo” sexual harassment and hostile work environment harassment. If you are a victim of either type of harassment, a sexual harassment attorney can help explain your rights. To receive a free legal consultation regarding your sexual harassment claim, fill out our free case review form.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

The most commonly recognized form of workplace sexual harassment, quid pro quo harassment is also known as “this for that” sexual harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a supervisor or someone in a position of authority asks an employee for sexual favors in exchange for a job benefit, such as a raise, promotion, or favorable shift assignment, or for not being fired or disciplined.

Workplace sexual harassment victims are not barred from filing a claim simply because they have accepted the offer of job benefits in exchange for sexual favors. Victims can still seek the help of a sexual harassment attorney if they change their mind after accepting the agreement.

Hostile Work Environment Harassment

Hostile work environment harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual advances hinder work performance or create an offensive work environment. Managers and co-workers are not the only individuals who can commit hostile work environment harassment; this form of workplace harassment can also occur when a vendor, guest or other non-employee makes unwanted sexual advances which lead to an intimidating workplace.

The following actions may create a hostile work environment:

  • Making lewd remarks about looks, clothing, etc.
  • Touching others inappropriately
  • Making sexual jokes
  • Displaying sexually suggestive items, such as posters or photos
  • Sending sexually suggestive e-mails, notes or pictures
  • Leering

To be considered hostile work environment harassment, the affected employee must show a general pattern of conduct by the harasser which has led to a deterioration of the workplace environment. Individuals who are subject to hostile work environment harassment should keep an accurate record of the harassing events. It is important to note that any employee can be affected by hostile work environment harassment, not just the individual who is directly involved or targeted. In other words, if a worker is offended by ongoing harassment among others, they can seek legal recourse.

If you or a loved one is being sexually harassed at work, fill out our free case evaluation form on the right. Our sexual harassment lawyers can review your case, at no cost to you, to determine your eligibility for a lawsuit.