Quid pro quo harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can have a detrimental effect on both employees and the company. It is important for employers to understand how to identify, prevent, and respond to quid pro quo harassment to create a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.
Identifying Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Quid pro quo harassment is defined as any unwanted or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is made a condition of employment or employment-related decisions. This can include, but is not limited to, verbal or physical harassment, sexual advances, and sharing or displaying sexually explicit or offensive materials.
Some signs that quid pro quo harassment may be occurring in the workplace include:
- An employee who has been the target of quid pro quo harassment reports feeling uncomfortable, intimidated, or degraded by the conduct.
- An employee who has been the target of quid pro quo harassment reports experiencing a change in their work conditions or treatment because of the harassment.
- An employee who witnesses quid pro quo harassment reports feeling uncomfortable or intimidated by the conduct.
- Employees who are aware of quid pro quo harassment report feeling afraid or intimidated by the alleged harasser.
Preventing Quid Pro Quo Harassment
There are several steps that employers can take to prevent quid pro quo harassment in the workplace. These include:
- Developing and implementing a clear and comprehensive anti-harassment policy.
- Providing regular training to all employees on the company’s anti-harassment policy, as well as on their rights and responsibilities under the policy.
- Creating a confidential and accessible process for employees to report harassment.
- Following through on complaints of harassment in a timely and thorough manner, with appropriate disciplinary action taken as necessary.
- Regularly monitoring the workplace for signs of quid pro quo harassment and acting as necessary.
Responding to Quid Pro Quo Harassment
When quid pro quo harassment does occur in the workplace, it is important for employers to take swift and appropriate action to address the issue. This can include:
- Investigating the complaint of quid pro quo harassment in a thorough and timely manner.
- Providing support and protection to the employee who has been harassed, including offering them a safe work environment and accommodations as necessary.
- Taking disciplinary action against the individual or individuals responsible for the harassment, up to and including termination of employment.
- Reviewing and revising the company’s anti-harassment policies and procedures as necessary to prevent future quid pro quo harassment.
Quid pro quo harassment is a serious issue that can have a detrimental effect on both employees and the company. Employers must take steps to identify, prevent and respond to quid pro quo harassment to create a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. Regular training, creating a confidential and accessible process for employees to report harassment, and taking disciplinary action as necessary are all key steps that can be taken to prevent quid pro quo harassment in the workplace. It’s important that employers have a zero-tolerance policy for quid pro quo harassment and that it is communicated clearly to all employees and strictly enforced.