Quid pro quo – something for something – is a form of sexual harassment in which an employer bases hiring, promotions, or raises upon receiving sex from an employee.
A Miami Waste Department employee initiated legal action last Spring against her employer, after she was offered a promotion for sex acts. Subsequently, she did not get a promotion and her legal claims state that the director at the time of the sexual harassment promised she would be promoted to assistant director in exchange for sexual acts. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida and claims that she and the director had multiple sexual encounters during and after work hours. The job opening occurred in the Spring and was filled by Fall with another employee, at which time the victimized employee filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Program Office. A Florida sexual harassment law attorney can assist employees who have experienced abuse of power actions that breach physical comfort boundaries and could be construed as part of the widespread problem of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination from employers against women, including discriminatory hiring and firing practices based on requests for sexual acts.
A Miami attorney can initiate legal action for victims of workplace sexual harassment, based on protections outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent, or severe that it creates a hostile, or offensive work environment and results in an adverse employment decision, such as a victim being fired, transferred, or demoted. The harasser can be a business owner, manager, supervisor, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client, or customer.
A skilled attorney will review a claim and seek available legal remedies against workplace harassment, especially when it is directed toward a specific group, or individual. The law addresses harassment in the form of unwelcome physical advances, requests for inappropriate favors and other verbal, or physical conduct of a compromising nature through:
- Quid Pro Quo. Authoritative figures/bosses in the workplace demand, or require inappropriate physical acts for preferential treatment, or to avoid punitive action – employment decisions made because an individual has submitted to, or rejected the negative behaviors.
- Hostile Work Environment. A boss or employer does not remedy a work environment where verbal, or physical inappropriate behavior is present, affecting work performance and creating intimidating, hostile and abusive work environments.
Reporting is the first step against negative and illegal workplace harassment encounters. And employees may make a direct report to a manager of the harasser, and human resources; request mediation; initiate formal grievance procedures; and/or file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An experienced lawyer can draft a complaint against the alleged workplace harassment, under the requirements outlined in Federal laws.
Speak with an attorney regarding compensation.
- Monetary damages including back pay, attorney and court fees, emotional pain, and negative effects of the harassment.
- Equitable relief by job reinstatement, or promotion.
- Punitive damages if actions were extremely offensive, and egregious sexual harassment misconduct.
Seek legal counsel
If an employee does not wish to proceed with any other steps before contacting EEOC, they do not need to, and may seek alternate professional counsel for guidance. Contact an experienced sexual harassment attorney in Miami, if work-related harassment interferes with a job, or career in South Florida.