Despite the power of the #MeToo movement, sexual harassment continues to pervade the nooks and crannies of workplace environments. This behavior leaves employees in a difficult position where their job, finances, career prospects, and reputation are put on the line. This is unfair and illegal. That’s why if you think that you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment, then you should consider legal action.
A look at quid pro quo sexual harassment
One common form of sexual harassment that is actionable is quid pro quo sexual harassment. This type of harassment can occur in one of two ways. The first is where a coworker with power, usually someone in a supervisory position, promises favorable employment action in exchange for a sexual favor. These employment actions can include a raise, a promotion, a more favorable work assignment, or some form of special recognition.
The second type of quid pro quo involves negative employment actions. Here, workers are threatened with possible demotion, reassignment, or even termination if they fail to abide by a sexual request. Both types of harassment are common and illegal.
The burden in a quid pro quo case
If you decide to take action on one of these cases, then you have to know how to approach your case. To start, it’s important to recognize that the initial burden is on you to prove that a negative action was taken against you for refusing to comply with a sexual request. Once you present enough evidence of that, then the burden typically falls with the employer to show that the employment action was taken for a reason other than one related to sexual harassment. This means that you need to be prepared to defend your employment record in the event that your employer starts flinging mud at you out of some attempt at desperate self-preservation.
Develop the strong case you deserve
We know that it can be hard to stand up to an employer who has wronged you, but you can’t let that affect the aggressiveness with which you handle your case. That’s why it’s often wise to work through these cases with an attorney who knows how to gather and analyze the evidence with an eye on crafting the most compelling legal arguments possible under the circumstances. If you want to protect yourself, your finances, and your future, then you might want to think about seeking out that assistance.