In a quid pro quo case, one person offers a favor to another while expecting that they will obtain something in return. It can happen in education institutions also when a professor gives extra credit to students for volunteering at work in a non-profit event. In such cases, quid pro quo arrangements are damaging to students and can violate school conduct codes and Title IX.
Students can be offered to participate in a program when they agree to submit to particular conduct. It can include something shameless as demanding sexual favors to make the student pass the grade. To know your rights, visit studentdisciplinedefense.com.
Know your rights and options in quid pro quo cases
The Department of Education’s Title IX defines any kind of quid pro quo harassment performed in school by employees as one of the three forms of sexual harassment that breaks Title IX. These incidents are considered severe in depriving students of equivalent access to educational options under the law.
When a student or an employee is subjected to such a situation, they will suffer regardless of their response to the situation. If they reject or comply with the request to put up with the unlawful harassment, they will not get the promised benefit. If they put up with the act, they will subject themselves to an action that causes loss of self-esteem and harm. Either way, they will be victimized. An experienced school discipline defense attorney will help address the situation and obtain appropriate remedies in Title IX or other methods.
Quid pro quo can take place physically or verbally. Harassments can occur even if the professor or staff merely indicates that sexual favors will grant a benefit.
Elements in a quid pro quo situation
If you are involved in a quid pro quo situation, you have the right to get justice. However, justice is not simply served to anyone. There are certain elements of a quid pro quo situation that you must prove.
- You were an employee of the company.
- Your employer, colleague, client, or someone else who was a part of the company made unwanted sexual requests or physical or verbal conduct without your consent.
- You were denied certain job benefits due to your refusal to acceptance of sexual conduct.
- The defendant or harasser was a part of the company, perhaps an employer or agent, when the harassment occurred.
- The sexual conduct harmed you.
- The alleged sexual conduct has contributed to significant harm.
Protect your rights
Quid pro quo harassment cases can be more difficult to defend and complex to prove than other Title IX cases. Evidence can be very little, and procedural rules can prohibit the introduction of specific forms of evidence because Title IX disciplinary proceedings differ from civil or criminal lawsuits in court.
Remember that quid pro quo is illegal, and you have every right to make a complaint about it. It is understandable that experiencing sexual harassment can be scary for anyone, and you may want to let the incident slide quietly without informing anyone. However, that makes things worse.
If you have been in a quid pro quo situation, there are two very important steps that you must take.
Report the incident to human resources or any other appropriate party.
You must first report the incident to the human resources department or another relevant party. For example, you may complain to the supervisor if your company does not have an HR department. In case your company does not provide both options, consider taking the next step.
File a complaint with the EEOC and a similar relevant agency of the state.
If your company does not have an HR department, you may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They will review your complaint, investigate the situation, and decide whether to pursue legal action against the employer. No matter where or how you file the complaint, you must do so anyhow to protect your and other people’s rights.
How can companies help prevent cases of quid pro quo in their workplace?
Since quid pro quo cases have been on the rise, companies have been working hard and taking preventative measures to protect their employees. One way to do so is by creating workplace policies and enforcing them. Some steps companies can take to reduce sexual harassment in their workplaces include:
- Draft a written employment policy outlining sexual harassment prohibition terms.
- The employee handbook should contain a step-by-step procedure to report sexual harassment incidents.
- The complaint-taking process should be anonymous and safe. The victim should not feel unsafe while making the report, and the information they provide should be kept confidential.
- The company should quickly respond to victims’ complaints.
- The situation should be investigated discreetly, and only necessary individuals should be informed about the process.
- The company should circulate the quid pro quo policy from time to time.
- The supervisors and seniors of the company should show their disapproval of such activities.
- The company should provide training on sexual harassment policies for supervisors. They should know they will experience disciplinary action if they engage in such conduct.
Common examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment in the workplace
Here are some common instances of quid pro quo situations:
- A supervisor promises to raise an employee’s wages or monthly salary in exchange for sexual advances.
- A manager writes an unfair performance report for an employee who refused to engage in sexual conduct with them.
- An employee is treated harshly or demoted for refusing to engage in sexual conduct with their supervisor.
If you think you are the sufferer of quid pro quo harassment or facing accusations of Title IX violation, contact an attorney for case evaluation and consultation. Assistance and advice from an experienced attorney can make a difference in the result of your case. Your attorney knows how important it is to protect your rights on campus and is passionate about getting fairness through the Title IX process.