Go to USC home page USC Logo Insert page title here
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAMS HOME

ABOUT EOP

STAFF

STRATEGIC PLAN

POLICIES

PUBLICATIONS

RESOURCES

TRAININGS

MLK EVENTS

FOR FACULTY/STAFF

FOR STUDENTS

TITLE IX

STAFF LOGIN
USC  THIS SITE
Equal Opportunity Programs
1600 Hampton Street
Suite 805
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina 29208

Phone: 803-777-3854
Fax: 803-777-2296
TDD: 803-777-5608

The Recognized Forms of Sexual Harassment

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Literally translated, quid pro quo means "this for that.” Quid pro quo harassment happens when an employee is placed in a position wherein a choice must be made between submitting to sexual advances or losing a tangible job benefit.  

One of the essential qualifiers of quid pro quo harassment is the harasser's power to control the employee's employment benefits. This kind of harassment most often occurs between supervisor and employee.

· There are several criteria that a claim of quid pro quo harassment must meet:

· The harassment was based on sex.

· The claimant was subjected to unwelcome sexual advances.

· A tangible economic benefit of the job was conditional on the claimant's submission to the unwelcome sexual advances.

In quid pro quo cases, the harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The request may be implied or       actual.  Again, the advances must be unwelcome, meaning that the person did not invite or solicit the advances. Be mindful, however, that acquiescence or even voluntary participation in sexual activity does not mean that the advances were not unwelcome. One factor to consider is whether the person indicated that the advances were unwelcome notwithstanding acquiescence.

Hostile Work Environment Harassment

When the harassment is unwelcome conduct that is so severe or pervasive as to change the conditions of the claimant's employment and create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, then it is considered an act of hostile work environment.

· Hostile work environment, however, can be distinguished from quid pro quo harassment.

· Hostile work environment does not involve a tangible impact on an employee’s economic benefit.

· Hostile work environment is not restricted to actions of a supervisor but includes the actions of coworkers or third parties as well.

· Hostile work environment can be constituted by actions other than sex or sexual advances.

· Hostile work environment can exist even though the actions were not specifically directed at the claimant but nonetheless impact his or her ability to perform the job for which he or she was hired.

· Hostile work environment usually involves a progression of several actions over a period of time but can be constituted by a single offensive action.

In order for hostile work environment to be established or declared, three criteria must be met:

· The act or behavior must be unwelcome.

· The act or behavior has to be severe, pervasive, and perceived by the claimant as so hostile or offensive as to alter his or her conditions of employment.

· The act of behavior was such that a “reasonable” person would find it hostile or offensive.

RETURN TO TOP
USC LINKS: DIRECTORY MAP EVENTS VIP
SITE INFORMATION