Me Too Blog2018-08-29T10:29:44+00:00

Vaccination Laws Upheld Despite Religious Objections

In the United States, the First Amendment of the Constitution protects our right to practice the religion of our choice.  The State and City of New York have passed laws that offer increased protection from interference with religious practice and discrimination based on religioun.  Just like the right to move your fist ends at the tip of another person’s nose, the government will limit the right to a religious practice that they believe endangers the community as a whole.  Justice Denise Hartman upheld the law abolishing religious exemptions to vaccinations, referring to a US Supreme Court decision from 1944, “The right to practice religion does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable diseases.” What Parents Should Know Schools must ensure that all students are vaccinated within 14 days of starting school, in keeping with the laws passed last year as a result of the worst measles outbreak of the century.  Justice Hartman expressed her empathy for the suffering of families that must now choose between their religious beliefs and their child’s education, as they may now have to either homeschool their kids or move to another State.  The [...]

Black History Month Spotlight: Michelle Obama

Black History Month- Recognizing Notable Lawyer: Michelle Obama We’ve seen Michelle Obama poised by Barack Obama’s side during his presidency countless times. Fashionable and statuesque, she handled her position as first lady with a deftness and grace that belied the initial criticism she faced. For eight years, she proudly served as the premiere  African-American first lady. There is so much more to know about Michelle Obama - here are some things you might not be aware of: 1. She is one of only three first ladies with a Graduate Degree. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelors Degree in Sociology from Princeton University, Michelle Obama went on to receive her Law Degree from Harvard Law School. The other first ladies with Graduate Degrees are Hillary Clinton, who also received a Law Degree and Laura Bush who earned a Masters in Library Science. 2. She is one smart cookie! Michelle Obama showed academic promise long before Princeton and Harvard. She skipped the 2nd grade during elementary school, and graduated as salutatorian from her high school. 3. She was Barack Obama’s boss! Michelle Obama worked for Sidney Austin LLP, the 6th largest law firm [...]

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr   Martin Luther King Jr. Day was officially observed as a national holiday for the very first time on January 20, 1986. Signed into law three years prior by President Ronald Reagan, the day was chosen to be on the 3rd Monday of every January.  His positive messages while fighting for equality set the mood for groundbreaking laws requiring equality.   Sit Wherever You’d Like to New Yorkers love to lament the unreliability of the MTA, and these complaints have some merit, but we can least be thankful that everybody can sit where they’d like! There was a time, not so long ago, that some citizens were required to sit in the back of the bus.  When Rosa Parks, an African-American lady, refused to get up from her seat in the front, she was arrested. This sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott in December 1955, led by Dr. King, which lasted for 381 days. Carpools were arranged, taxi drivers were enrolled in charging [...]

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bicycle Accidents

Many cities, including New York City, are encouraging residents and visitors to use bikes to get around the city.  There are more bike lanes being put in every day, and you can rent a "Citi-bike" just about anywhere.  It's not surprising that this has resulted in an increasing number of bike accidents citywide.  They only have two wheels, so they are easy to tip over when they are hit by a car.  There is no protection other than a helmet for the bicyclist, so injuries from bike accidents tend to be serious.  If you are injured in a bicycle accident, an experienced bicycle accident attorney in NYC can explain the law as it applies to your specific situation. If you've been injured in a bicycle accident, you need a Bicycle Accident Attorney in NYC that knows everything about bicycle accidents, and if you are riding around on these crowded streets you should learn about the many different types of bicycle accidents so you can do your best to avoid them.  We see it all the time, the delivery guy on the bicycle going the wrong way down the street or careening through [...]

President George Bush’s Legacy- 7 Ways How the ADA Impacts Us Today

President George Bush’s Legacy- 7 Ways How the ADA Impacts Us Today A little over a week ago, on November 30, 2018, we lost our 41st president. George H.W Bush served as president from 1989-1993, and prior to his presidency, served as vice president from 1981 to 1989. Though we may not agree with all of his policies, the American Disability Act passed during his administration continues to be a major contribution to our society. The American Disability Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and was implemented with the goal of increasing inclusion for persons with disabilities in employment,  telecommunications, public accommodations in both the public and private sector. Most of us, in our everyday interactions, come into contact with some aspect of the ADA, whether we have a disability or not. Here are 7 ways the ADA passed by George H.W. Bush has helped people with disabilities. Privately Owned...BUT serves the public Early Civil Rights Laws only covered discrimination by publicly owned facilities.  The ADA prohibits disability discrimination in private businesses that serve the public. This includes places like restaurants and movie theaters.  Prior to this legislation, private [...]

Mark Your Calendars – Set Your Timers – Time to Vote!

  What New Yorkers Need to Know for The Midterm Elections! The midterm elections are right around the corner - and they may just be the most important midterm elections ever.  So much is at stake! The candidates running for election across the country also happen to be the most diverse bunch that the US has ever seen. 272 of the 964 candidates are women, and white men make up only 58% of the candidates running - the lowest in the past four elections. It is of great importance that you go out to vote! Logistics This year’s midterm elections will take place on Tuesday, November 6th. As always, polls around New York City and Long Island will open at 6 a.m and close at 9 p.m. To find out where to vote, go to New York State’s Board of Elections website. After entering identifying information, the site will provide you with your polling site, your personal voting information and your Voting District’s information. You should know that if you go to your correct polling site, and your name is not found on the roll, you have a right to request an affidavit ballot.  [...]

Is Your Right to Vote Disappearing?

Is Your Right to Vote Disappearing? wittenstein.com  has been a little over 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Right Act of 1965 into law.  Passed during the Civil Rights era, it sought to remove barriers meant to keep African Americans from voting on election day. These barriers included literacy tests, poll taxes, and intimidation by law enforcement officials.  By the end of 1965 a quarter million more African Americans were registered to vote. Since the initial passing, it has been amended a couple of times under various administrations to include other minority groups. With the tidal wave of Conservatism, these laws are being undermined and turned back, corroding the Voting Right Act’s missions to enfranchise more voters.  It’s no surprise that the politicians that are trying to disenfranchise minorities are the the ones that minorities tend not to vote for! Supreme Court Case 2013 - Shelby County vs. Eric Holder: One of the major forces turning the tide was the verdict reached in the recent (2013) Shelby County vs. Eric Holder Supreme Court case. A 5-4 ruling, established that Section IV of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional. This [...]

What is New York Doing About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

What Is New York Doing About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace? wittenstein.com The effect of allegations of sexual harassment being brought to the center stage has rippled beyond courtrooms, into peoples’ homes, workplace, and now legislation. Starting on October 9th, all employers in New York state will be required to have a Sexual Harassment prevention policy that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements set by the law.  A written or electronic copy of the policy and annual training must also be submitted to all employees. Below you will find some of the other provisions of the updated sexual harassment law as outlined by Governor Cuomo: “All state contractors must submit an affirmation that they have a sexual harassment policy and that they have trained all of their employees.” Contractors must submit this by January, 2019. “Prohibit employers from using a mandatory arbitration provision in an employment contract in relation to sexual harassment.” Beginning in effect on July 11, 2018, employers are no longer allowed to include provisions that prohibit employees from seeking legal action first, when it comes to sexual harassment. Beforehand, when a mandatory arbitration provision was included, employees had to try [...]

The Difference Between Sexual Harassment & Sexual Assault

 The Difference Between Sexual Harassment & Sexual Assault It seems as if every time we turn on the news, there’s another accusation about sexual harassment or assault that comes up. We are living in a time where behavior that was once minimized and brushed aside is now coming to public attention. People now feel emboldened to speak up and are encouraged by movements such as ME TOO to take a stand. As more offenses come to the public sphere and terms such as sexual assault and sexual harassment gain traction, knowing the difference between each becomes increasingly difficult. Below we break down the difference.   What is Sexual Assault? When people hear the term ‘sexual assault’ what usually comes to mind is rape. While rape is in fact an example of sexual assault, sexual assault includes behaviors less severe than a full-fledged rape. The United States Department of Justice defines sexual assault as ‘any non-consensual sexual act prescribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.’ Minors, some people who are mentally or intellectually disabled, and individuals who are inebriated, are all examples of individuals who lack [...]

Child Injury Lawyer | Laws That Protect Children

WHY THERE ARE LAWS THAT PROTECT CHILDREN We don't leave babies alone in the house because they are not able to take care of themselves at all.  As children grow and mature, they begin to display greater levels of ability and can be rewarded with greater independence.  Laws take this into account and have different protections and expectations for children of different ages.  A child injury lawyer is aware of these laws and how to apply them. EXAMPLES OF CHILD PROTECTIVE LAWS CAR SEATS A statute is a law that is passed by a legislature.  It's written down and needs to be followed precisely.  An example of a law that protects children is New York State's Child Restraint Law, it is found in [Section 1229-c(1), NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law and states: All children must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle, until they reach their 8th birthday. An appropriate child restraint system is one that fits the child according to the manufacturer's specifications for height and weight. The safety belt in your vehicle is not designed for children. A booster seat raises your child up so that the safety [...]

Do I Need a Pediatric Malpractice Attorney?

Pediatric Malpractice Attorneys specialize is handling cases for children that are victims of medical malpractice.  It is a sub-specialty for the types of medical treatment that children receive, and the types of problems that tend to occur.  Of course, just like with medical treatment, a generalist malpractice attorney can handle many of these cases, but it is usually better to go with a lawyer that is more knowledgeable about this particular area.  A really good malpractice lawyer will know everything about the medical procedures for the case, almost as much as a doctor! Did you know that it could be malpractice for some orthopedists to treat children with broken bones?  That's because children have growth plates which an orthopedist that treats adults may not have enough experience with.  A good orthopedist will refer the child to a pediatric orthopedist.  So the same goes with the attorney, who is familiar with adult orthopedic malpractice, but might not be aware of the details of growth plates and what might constitute malpractice by an orthopedist treating a child. Let's review the sub-specialties, starting in the womb: PRE-NATAL CARE/LOST PREGNANCY: Negligent pre-natal care can lead to problems [...]

Psychological Injuries Lawsuits

Some psychological injuries are so severe that they can be as disabling as serious physical injuries.  When a careless or reckless act caused intense trauma, special arrangements must be made when pursuing a lawsuit.  This concept originated with “collaborative divorce,” where a psychologist becomes part of the team so that settlement discussions can stay on track.  With lawsuits that involved extremely traumatic events, this formula can also be applied, and a lawsuit for psychological injuries can be brought. Of course, any accident is traumatic.  Fearing for your life when you are hit by a car or slipping on water and breaking your leg are “traumatic events,”, but these accidents do not shatter the core of your being and cause you to think less of yourself.  In the landmark case of “Brown vs. Board of Education,” school segregation was ended by the Supreme Court based on studies that showed that it was injurious to the self-esteem of African-American children, who believed that “white dolls” were prettier than “black dolls.”  The entire decision was based on the concept that a law could be struck down based on psychological injuries to self-esteem! The most traumatic lawsuits [...]