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What is quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment?

Workplaces in California have changed over time. Women, minorities, older workers, people with disabilities and others have gained rights that they did not always have. However, despite the laws changing, it has been a much longer process to change the attitudes and behaviors of some of those in charge at the companies. For instance, women may have obtained more jobs, but many are still subjected to various forms of sexual harassment. This was clearly just an engrained part of working and seemed like the norm, even if it wasn't appropriate and may even have been illegal in some cases.

These norms have been challenged recently as more and more women have come out telling their stories of harassment in the workplace. There are two main forms of harassment that women in particular have endured for many years and is still present in today's workplaces. One is referred to as quid pro quo harassment and the other is known as hostile work environment harassment.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment is basically bosses telling women that they will help their careers in exchange for sexual favors. This could be offering promotions, raises, better work assignments and other benefits. It also refers to situations when the person is told they will suffer a negative consequence if they don't provide the sexual favor. Hostile work environment harassment refers to situations when the worker is subjected to crude sexual comments, sexual images and jokes, constant badgering with sexual conversations and other types of harassment.

There are many different forms of sexual harassment that people suffer at work in California. However, no matter the type of harassment, it is all illegal and employers who engage in it or allow it to happen may be required to compensate the victims. This compensation can come in many different forms, depending on the results of the harassment. Experienced attorneys understand how difficult harassment in the workplace can be and may be a useful resource.

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