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What is "quid pro quo" sexual harassment in California?

Anyone who has worked in a hostile environment understands the severe strain and distress that hostility can place on a worker. Even if a worker is trying as hard as they can to function in such an environment, the overall atmosphere can eventually force them to realize they can't take it anymore. Those who report things like sexual harassment can face additional hostility, though, from employers and human resource officers who don't want any problems or negative publicity. A skilled wrongful termination attorney can protect harassed employees' rights in difficult situations like these.

For those who seek help, and those who are in need of it, learning about the law can be beneficial. An attorney can offer legal advice to those affected by sexual harassment in California workplaces. One common issue is what type of sexual harassment has been occurring. The law recognizes two general categories of workplace harassment: that which creates a hostile work environment, and "quid pro quo" sexual harassment.

What is quid pro quo harassment? This is usually the most direct form of harassment, often occurring from one person to another. It may take the form of unwanted sexual advances, physical touching, showing someone lewd photos or images and much more. Both state and federal law recognize that quid pro quo sexual harassment is not limited to either gender and can include harassment of someone by another of the same sex. In quid pro quo harassment, the harassed person's continued employment usually depends on them acquiescing to or ignoring this damaging behavior.

Unfortunately, no type of sexual harassment is a thing of the past. Recently, here in Los Angeles, numerous women have made claims against the popular restaurant chain P.F. Chang's, alleging sexual harassment. The restaurant has already come under fire for harassment; two former employees were awarded around a million dollars in a previously-settled sexual harassment case. For those who believe they are being forced to endure harassment at work, legal advice and representation can be life-changing.

Source: California Restaurant Association, "An Employer's Guide to Dealing With Sexual Harassment," accessed March 5, 2016

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