When we marvel at the words embodied in the Declaration of Independence, we imagine that Thomas Jefferson was guided by something more than mortal consciousness. Those words served to sow the seeds necessary for a nation to bloom and burst into the future. In 1776, the colonist could not have imagined what “happiness” would mean to a 21st Century citizen, yet Jefferson was stirred to choose the word happiness to reflect the essence of a truly free man. Today, social tolerance, gender equality and fairness in the work place are recognized as ingredients integral to the happiness of men and women, world wide.  A 2008 survey conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR) revealed that the United States ranks 16th in terms of happiness, below places such as Denmark, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada and Sweden.

This same survey on world values found that people around the world equate social tolerance with happiness. Although the United States ranked relatively high in many factors that contribute to such a view of happiness, there is much room to increase our Nation’s sense of social fairness and tolerance.

From the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s to the whole host of federal, state and local laws that have been enacted over the last fifty years, this country has sought to level the playing field in a number of settings, including the workplace, by enacting legislation such as: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), The Equal Pay Act 1963 (EPA); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA); Title I and Title V of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. When federal laws fell short on protection, more comprehensive state and local laws were enacted, including: the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), N.Y. Exec. Law, § 290 et seq.; and the New York City Human Rights Law 1991 (“NYCHRL”), N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-101 (1991) et seq.

Despite such enforceable legislation, the American workplace continues to be hampered by hostile working conditions and discrimination based upon employees’ race, sex, disability, and national origin.

As attorneys, we view our role as that of vigorously continuing to prosecute and enforce our nation’s civil rights laws against those employers who reap enormous benefits on the backs of the American worker yet fail to provide the fundamental protections mandated by our laws.

Our practice is dedicated to advocating on behalf of your interests in federal and state courts, as well as in mediation and arbitration proceedings, when your legal rights have been violated. We also provide sage legal counsel as to changes in the laws governing conditions in the workplace and in negotiating severance and exit packages.

We also provide general counseling to start-up firms that seek advice on, and strategies for, doing business in the United States. In this fast-paced world, companies operating in the United States are finding that they are better off finding talented local human resources than shipping their work abroad. In order to remain competitive in the United States, companies need to understand and seek advice on what the American worker deems essential to the workplace.

We will also consider, on occasion, advocating on behalf of individuals who have been physically injured by negligence of others. New York State’s public policy and laws demand that laborers be provided protections that ensure their safety while working at elevated heights. This State’s tort-related laws also provide protections for persons who have been physically injured due to the negligence of others.

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