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Sexual Bribery in the Workplace

Sexual harassment at work, including sexual bribery, violates state and federal laws. While the law is designed to protect you from sexual bribery in the workplace, it unfortunately still happens. If you have experienced this behavior, seeking legal counsel is crucial. The Mahoney Law Firm is adept at dealing with these cases and can help you secure the best possible outcome while holding those who failed to stop the behavior accountable.

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    Sexual bribery is a form of quid pro quo harassment involving requests for sexual favors in exchange for continued employment or as a basis for an employment decision. While sexual bribery is sexual harassment, the requests for sexual favors in exchange for something distinguish it from other types.

    If you have experienced sexual bribery or any form of sexual harassment at work, it’s essential to understand your legal options. You don’t have to tolerate this type of treatment. Reporting and discussing the behavior with the appropriate higher-ups or local agencies is crucial to ensure it ceases immediately. The Mahoney Law Firm of Illinois can help you navigate the legal ramifications and protect yourself from further harm.

    Legal Ramifications of Sexual Bribery

    Sexual bribery in the workplace is unlawful. Employees have the right to work in a harassment-free environment, and various laws are designed to uphold this right. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees at a federal level, making it unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

    Employees in many states also receive additional layers of protection against such behavior. The Illinois Human Rights Act forbids discrimination based on many of the same protected classes, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, and marital status. Meanwhile, Missouri’s Human Rights Act provides that employment discrimination against another individual based on race, color, ancestry, sex, disability, age, religion, or national origin is unlawful.

    Our team at the Mahoney Law Firm uses our deep knowledge of federal and state laws to uphold employee rights.

    Identifying Sexual Bribery in the Workplace

    Typically, sexual bribery occurs when someone in a supervisory role offers some benefit in exchange for sexual favors. However, in some cases, it may happen among employees on the same level. The perpetrators usually hold some position of influence, as sexual bribery often goes hand-in-hand with power dynamics.

    Since these individuals are in a position of power, they can hold threats over the victim’s head to coerce them. Common examples of coercion include threats of:

    The opposite of such threats are incentives in the bribe. For example, the perpetrator may request sexual favors in exchange for a promotion, raise, or another positive workplace outcome such as a preferred work schedule.

    The bribes might be outright and explicit. However, the perpetrator may use a more covert approach, veiling the bribe with suggestive language. For instance, implied sexual bribes might be subtle, involving phrases such as “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” In this context, these statements are highly inappropriate.

    Examples of sexual bribery include:

    Types of Sexual Harassment

    State and federal laws recognize two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

    Sexual bribery falls under the umbrella of quid pro quo sexual harassment, as it encompasses requests for sexual favors in exchange for something an employee would want.

    Hostile environment sexual harassment involves requests for sexual favors and unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Subjecting the employee to this behavior creates a hostile working environment.

    Preventing Sexual Bribery in the Workplace

    Statistics show the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, with over 27,291 charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between 2018 and 2021. Studies show that 99 percent of sexual harassment cases at work go unreported, so the actual numbers are drastically higher.

    Preventative measures are crucial to eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace, and it all starts at the top. The employer can integrate various steps to eradicate unsavory behavior in the workplace, including:

    Public Act 101-0221 requires all Illinois employers to train employees annually on sexual harassment, a must-do in any effective preventative policy. Employers can implement their own programs that meet or exceed requirements in Section 2-109(B) of the Illinois Human Rights Act, or they can use the training model the Illinois Department of Human Rights provides.

    By integrating proper preventative measures, employers can create a safer, healthier, and more respectful work environment for all employees.

    Responding to Sexual Bribery in the Workplace

    If you experience or witness sexual bribery at work, responding firmly and reporting the situation is essential. You should consider taking the following steps:

    How the Mahoney Law Firm Handles Sexual Bribery Cases

    Illinois employment attorney Ryan Mahoney has been fighting for employees for over 16 years. Alongside a team of experienced litigators, Ryan Mahoney has helped dozens of employees navigate the legal system and secure justice.

    Our firm has extensive knowledge and experience in all kinds of employment cases, including sexual bribery, sexual assault in the workplace, and other types of sexual harassment. We can help you maneuver through the complex web of the legal system to recover the compensation you deserve, from equitable relief to damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

    Contact the Mahoney Law Firm for Help With Your Case

    You don’t have to tolerate sexual bribes at work. It’s crucial to report the offender to ensure the behavior stops and prevent it from continuing with future victims. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual bribery in the workplace, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance.

    Contact the experienced attorneys at Mahoney Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal rights and options. Our team is committed to providing compassionate and effective representation to victims of sexual harassment and bribery. Together, we can work towards creating a safer and more respectful workplace for all employees.


    What Is an Example of Sexual Bribery in the Workplace?

    Sexual bribery is the request for sexual favors in exchange for something. An example is an employer or supervisor offering an employee a raise or promotion in exchange for the employee performing a sexual act.

    What Counts as Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace?

    Sexual discrimination at work is the unfavorable treatment of an employee or applicant based on that person’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy. Sexual harassment is also a form of discrimination.

    What is Sexual Exploitation in the Workplace?

    Sexual exploitation at work involves benefiting or profiting, financially or otherwise, from sexually using an employee’s body.

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