“I like you” those were the words displayed on the inside of a heart written on a sheet of loose leaf paper.  As innocent as those words appear to be to most people, there is also the innocence of the 9-year-old boy who wrote the words. “I like your hair because it is not sloppy. I like your eyes because they sparkle like diamonds” the note went on to say.

But school officials didn’t find the note innocent at all.  They threatened to contact authorities and have charges pressed against him for sexual harassment because they say the notes are “inappropriate” and “unwanted.”

All of this after fellow classmates teased the young boy saying he wanted to see the girl naked even though the notes never expressed anything of the sort.

“He’s 9, what little kid doesn’t write love notes? My 9-year-old doesn’t even know what sexual harassment means” said the mother of the child who didn’t want to be identified.

But the 9-year-old simply gushed at her appearance saying “She’s pretty and cute.”

The school maintains that all notes are discouraged from being passed in an effort to prevent classroom disruptions.

While many people may feel the school officials are overreacting and treating this case as extreme, sexual harassment in various other instances are not treated as seriously. In fact it can be genuinely overlooked.

Here are several incidents of behavior that should not be overlooked by an employee:

Continuous comments from a supervisor, client or coworker regarding your body, clothes, or appearance.

Questions from a supervisor, coworker or client asking about your personal or social

A coworker, client or supervisor who constantly tells you about his/her personal life/business.

If you feel uncomfortable by a coworker, client or supervisor’s body language at work or you sense sexual undertones in his/her body language.

When you are being physically touched by a supervisor, coworker or client, such as hugs, or he/she pats or rubs you.

When you are called pet names such as “sweetheart,” “baby” or “hunnie” to name a few.

When jokes, comments, cartoons, pictures, or other materials with sexual annotations are being passed around the workplace.


All of the above scenarios are inappropriate forms of office behavior.  If after reading the above situations, you find that they sound familiar to the type of conduct you have been experiencing at work, then you have been subjected to working in a hostile job environment.  We strongly urge you to contact an attorney here at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC by calling our toll-free number 877-469-5297.

It’s important that you also remember these points:

  1. Know and understand your sexual harassment rights as a victim (when you contact our law firm, we will inform you of your rights).
  2. Keep a detailed record of the behavior you are experiencing at work.
  3. Report the misconduct to your Human Resource Department or the appropriate supervisor in charge (if you feel comfortable enough to do so).
  4. Very Important: Consult with one of our experienced lawyers here at the Derek Smith Law Group.

Having an attorney who is experienced and competent in sexual harassment, discrimination and employment law is the key to a favorable outcome in your case. Here at the Derek Smith Law Firm our New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia attorneys are compassionate towards you, the client and what you are going through, yet we are tough towards your employer and will fight to the fullest extent of the law.  Do not accept working in a hostile job environment.

Give us a call today.