Can I be in Legal Trouble if I Agreed to a Sexual Relationship in Exchange for a Promotion?
Sexual harassment can cover many different types of situations and activities. Victims can sue in civil court for restitution. Generally, for there to be a sexual harassment case, there has to be a lack of consent on the part of the victim.
May a Subordinate Engage in Sexual Relations with a Supervisor?
If the subordinate does not feel pressured into giving sexual favors or the supervisor did not coerce the subordinate into sex, and there is consent, then it is not harassment for a subordinate to have sex with a supervisor. If consent is, then there is nothing “illegal” about that relationship, even if it results in a raise or promotion for the subordinate.
If your company has a policy against supervisors and subordinates being in sexual relationships, then the subordinate can generally expect that they will be the one losing their job.
Where Does It End?
A supervisor who will exchange sex for a promotion may have other plans in mind for that willing subordinate. What seemed like an easy path to the top for the subordinate could turn into a nightmare that may not end. The supervisor may assume that consent to any sexual act is always given, even if that is not the case. The sexual demands could become more intense, and there is a chance that other supervisors will consider the subordinate’s consent as an open invitation to sexual harassment. That having been said, there have been subordinates who have married the boss and eventually took over the company.
If It Gets Out Of Control
Consent is always considered on a case-by-case basis. I can be difficult to protect someone who willingly gave up their right to choose consent when they agreed to exchange sex for a better job.
But even with all of that, the subordinate does retain the right to not give consent when they feel they do not want to. It is possible for lines to be crossed and for the subordinate to decide that enough is enough. At this point, the subordinate is more than likely risking their career to put a stop to the cycle of sexual intimacy.
Consent Is Not An Open Invitation
A subordinate giving consent to a supervisor to exchange sex for a better position does not mean that the consent automatically applies to every supervisor in the company. That instance of consent is considered to have happened privately between the subordinate and the supervisor, and it is not considered an open invitation to other supervisors to commit acts of sexual harassment.
It Is Best Not To Get Involved
While it is not illegal to give consent to a supervisor in exchange for a promotion, it generally is regarded as does remain a very bad idea. You want the merits of your work to earn you promotions and raises that you can be proud of. You also do not want one instance of ill-advised consent to snowball into a nightmare of sexual harassment issues. If you are faced with a decision between offering sex in exchange for a promotion, the best solution is to not give consent and move on with your career. Sometimes this means changing jobs.
If you do not give consent and the supervisor attempts to punish you, then you can file a sexual harassment claim that could save your job and your career. When you stand on your own merits, you usually have the law to back you up.
Our firm has years of experience in handling sexual harassment situations. We can handle any type of sexual harassment situation, no matter how complex it may be. We encourage you to contact one of our sexual harassment attorneys to review your situation and possibly help you to put together an effective sexual harassment complaint.