As a woman, there may be times where advancement in your chosen career is out of your hands. The wrong type of boss can put an unacceptable obstacle in your path, blocking you from a job or promotion you know you deserve.
If your boss or supervisor makes inappropriate offers in exchange for professional rewards, you likely have a case for quid pro quo harassment. You do not have to accept this terrible fate; you can overcome it.
What is quid pro quo harassment?
“Quid pro quo” is a phrase that refers to a granted favor that comes with the expectation of something in return. In harassment, your boss may demand sexual acts in exchange for a promotion or another promise.
It is easy to feel trapped in this position. You have grown in your role with the company, and you feel deserving of more responsibilities. Perhaps you have earned a great deal of respect from other coworkers, all of whom would not hesitate to follow your leadership decisions. There is no doubt that you are worthy of more authority, and you should not let one terrible person stand in your way.
What can you do about it?
Recently, the state of California instituted a new bill that requires supervisors and managers to undergo more extensive sexual harassment training. This suggests that most employees in authoritative roles will know what to do if you approach them in confidence.
When your boss is the one harassing you, it can be a challenge to choose the right person to go to. Your boss’s boss is often a smart choice unless the two of them share a close relationship that may incite favoritism or loyalty. Human resources can also help you if you are unsure where to turn.
When push comes to shove, you do have legal recourse. If your boss makes these offers or fires you for refusing them, you can sue for sexual harassment. This type of treatment is against the law, and no one should have to tolerate it.