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Quid Pro Quo…How It Applies to Harassment

Emily Hartman /

Q: What does quid pro quo mean? Especially when it comes to harassment.

A: Maybe you’ve heard it said on the news or maybe it just seems like Latin, which it is.

In the context of HR and sexual harassment in the workplace, the phrase specifically refers to a situation in which a person of authority or influence (i.e., an executive, a supervisor, a manager, an employee of higher rank or seniority) expects a subordinate or lower-level employee to participate in or comply with inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature under the threat of harming their status as an employee if they refuse.

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