The Latin term Quid Pro Quo literally means “something for something.” Although it was originally used to indicate a misunderstanding, in English, it has come to be associated mostly with exchanges that are beneficial to both parties involved – essentially, the idea of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” A simple example might be mowing your neighbor’s lawn so that he or she will house-sit your pets the next weekend.
However, while such basic arrangements seem natural and positive, Quid pro Quo situations, especially in their legal definitions, are often very problematic. Vote trading among politicians could be considered a form of Quid Pro Quo that society generally frowns upon.
Damaging Quid Pro Quo situations can be disturbingly frequent in the workplace or at a university. Any time a sexual favor is expected in return for something like a promotion, not being fired, or a receiving a good grade, the legal understanding of Quid Pro Quo as a state of affairs in which someone who holds power over another attempts to abuse their influence applies.
Quid pro Quo sexual harassment does not have to be either explicit or acted upon to be considered a legal issue. For example, an offer to “come to my house and talk about your possible promotion over some wine” constitutes as much a case of harassment as “sleep with me or you’ll be fired.”
Quid pro Quo arrangements are sadly common in virtually every society. Fortunately, if someone has attempted to exploit you or a loved on in this way, the law is on your side. Contact a Stevens Point sexual harassment lawyer of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today at 800-248-0171.