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What Forms Can Sexual Harassment Take?Client-Focused & Passionate Representation

What Forms Can Sexual Harassment Take?


Sexual harassment can take many different forms in Palm Beach Gardens workplaces, and sometimes it can be difficult for employees to know if they are experiencing offensive conduct or behavior that rises to the level of harassment. Whenever you have any concerns about sexual harassment, whether you are the target or your workplace is impacted by offensive behavior within it, you should seek legal advice from an experienced Palm Beach Gardens employment discrimination lawyer who can assess the case and help you to take action. In the meantime, we want to provide you with more information about the forms that sexual harassment can take so that you may be able to recognize and report it, and seek legal help, when it happens.

In general, sexual harassment can take the form of quid pro quo or hostile work environment harassment, or retaliation.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

 Quid pro quo sexual harassment is a specific type of sexual harassment where an employer or supervisor makes requests for sexual favors in exchange for benefits or in exchange for avoiding adverse work conditions. The term “quid pro quo” means “this for that,” and it refers to situations where an employer or supervisor might do one of the following:

  • Offer you a promotion or a salary raise in exchange for sexual favors;
  • Threaten to demote you or change your schedule to a less favorable one if you do not agree to sexual requests; or
  • Say that you will not be considered for any additional promotions or other workplace benefits if you do not agree to sex.

These are just a few examples of how quid pro quo sexual harassment can manifest in the workplace.

Hostile Work Environment 

Offensive behavior that rises to the level of creating a hostile work environment is another form of sexual harassment in Florida workplaces. It is important to know that a hostile work environment can result from sexual harassment and many other forms of harassment (such as harassment on the basis of race, religion, or age).

For a hostile work environment to exist in connection with sexual harassment, there must be offensive conduct that is pervasive or so severe that it creates a hostile work environment. Generally a single incident is not sufficient to create a hostile work environment. Rather, offensive conduct must be pervasive over time. However, in some cases, a single incident that is so severe could potentially rise to the level of creating a hostile work environment.

Within the realm of the hostile work environment, this type of sexual harassment can take several different forms, such as:

  • Derogatory comments or slurs about a particular sex;
  • Jokes about a particular sex;
  • Use of stereotypes about a particular sex in workplace decisions;
  • Inappropriate touching;
  • Repeated requests for dates or sexual favors;
  • Displaying inappropriate sexual images in an office or cubicle; or
  • Sending sexually explicit work emails.

The targeted employee, as well as other employees impacted by the conduct, may be able to take against sexual harassment that creates a hostile work environment. It is also important to know that anyone in a workplace can be the perpetrator of this type of sexual harassment: the employer, co-workers, and even clients.


Retaliation is unlawful, and it occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for reporting sexual harassment or being involved in a sexual harassment investigation.

Contact Our Palm Beach Gardens Sexual Harassment Lawyers 

If you have faced any type of sexual harassment in the workplace, you should get in touch with an experienced Palm Beach Gardens sexual harassment attorney at Sconzo Law Office for help.




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