Kayla looked for a new job for months after being laid off as a financial analyst. When she finally got a job offer, she was ecstatic. As a single mother, she really needed to get back to work.
Initially, Kayla’s new supervisor seemed pleased with the work she was doing and told her that she was doing a wonderful job. But after a few months, Kayla began to feel that there was something more to his praise. Kayla's supervisor began closing the door whenever she went in to his office. He made comments to her about how pretty she looked and about her clothing. Each time he made a comment about her body Kayla would discreetly change the subject back to a work related topic. But her boss was persistent. He insisted that she meet him for drinks after work and that she join him for dinner. He promised her that if she went out with him, he would be able to help her get a raise and possibly a promotion. Kayla was uncomfortable with his unwelcome advances, but she felt that if she continued to refuse, her job would be in jeopardy.
This is a prime example of “quid pro-quo” sexual harassment. Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Quid-pro-quo sexual harassment occurs when job benefits, including promotion, salary increases, shift or work assignments, performance expectations and other conditions of employment, are made contingent on the provision of sexual favors, usually to an employer, supervisor or agent of the employer who has the authority to make decisions about employment actions.