CIVIL RIGHTS2018-09-04T11:27:39+00:00


new york city civil rights attorney

Civil Rights Lawyer Alyce B. Wittenstein, Esq. with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Civil Rights are your guarantees by the Federal, State and Local government to certain human rights.  This includes the right to vote, the right to privacy, freedom of speech and equal protection.  When your Civil Rights are violated, and you suffer a physical or psychological injury as a result, you can sue for compensation.  The first step is to speak to an experienced New York City civil rights lawyer to discuss your potential case.

Alyce B. Wittenstein, Esq. has been fighting for equality for over 20 years.  She was a teaching assistant for the late great Haywood Burns, founded a human rights delegation to Haiti and studied with Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She will bring her experience, dedication, and energy to your case.  If you are looking for a New York City Civil Rights Attorney, we can help you.

The rights of citizens have evolved since the founding of our country.  Back then only white men had rights.  The campaign to achieve equal rights for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities has made great progress, but there is more work to do.  Today, civil rights actions are based primarily on violations of the First, Fourth and Eighth Amendments of the United States Constitution.  They are bolstered by Statutes such as  Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, The New York State Civil Rights Law, The New York State Human Rights Law and The New York City Human Rights Law.  A New York City Civil Rights Attorney can help you assert these rights.

Some examples of Civil Rights violations are:

  • Employment Discrimination
    • Sexual Harassment
    • Unequal Pay
    • Discrimination in Housing
  • Police Misconduct
    • Police Brutality;
    • Excessive Force;
    • False arrest and wrongful arrest;
    • Police corruption;
    • False confessions;
    • False evidence planted by the law enforcement officer;
    • False imprisonment;
    • Unlawful intimidation by police officers; and
    • Sexual abuse by police officers.
  • Prison Abuse and Neglect
  • Hate Crimes
  • Destruction or vandalism of religious property
  • Using force to deter the use of a healthcare facility



Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident

WITTENSTEIN & WITTENSTEIN NYC Nursing Home Neglect Attorney If you are a resident of a nursing home or you have a family member that is a resident, it is important to know that they have certain rights in New York State that must be respected.  NYC Nursing Home Neglect Attorney, Wittenstein & Wittenstein can help you if a facility is not providing proper care. Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident in New York State: dignity, respect, and a comfortable living environment quality of care and treatment without discrimination freedom of choice to make your own, independent decisions be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home the safeguard of your property and money appeal a transfer or discharge with the New York State Department of Health privacy in communications choose your own schedule, activities and other preferences that are important to you receive visitors of your choosing at the time of your choosing an easy-to-use and responsive complaint procedure be free from abuse including verbal, sexual, mental and physical abuse be free from restraints exercise all of your rights without fear of reprisals Source:  New York State Department of Health You have a right to visit and inspect a [...]


A Civil Rights Lawyer can bring an action on your behalf for violations of Civil Rights guaranteed under New York City, New York State and Federal Law.  There are several common types of civil rights actions: Employment Discrimination: - An employer cannot treat you differently because you are a member of a "protected class" and must reasonably accommodate disabilities.  In the United States most workers are "employees at will," which means that they can be terminated without cause, but they cannot be terminated because of their race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, etc.  They can be fired for talking too much, not dressing well, or having blue eyes. Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment: You have a right to a work environment free of sexual harassment, racial slurs and other types of abuse. False Arrest: If you are arrested without probable cause, with charges dismissed or found not guilty, you can sue for compensation. Inmate Neglect and Abuse: If you are denied medical treatment or are the victim of an assault while in custody, you can bring an action against the detention center or prison. If you suspect that your civil rights have been violated, it never hurts to call a Bronx Civil Rights Lawyer for a free [...]

Children Bullied at School – There IS Something You Can Do About it!

CHILDREN BULLIED AT SCHOOL HAVE RIGHTS When I was a child, bullying at school was rampant, and there wasn't much that could be done about it.  When parents complained that their child was being bullied at school, there were told things like "boys will be boys," and that they should teach their child to be more assertive to deal with bullies.  We know now that bullying can lead to depression and even suicide, and there are now laws that protect children from this fate.  In other words, children bullied at school now have rights.  The U.S. Department of Health and human services defines bullying as "unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children," and it must involve "a real or perceived power imbalance."  It must be a recurring problem, not something that just happens once.  It can be physical, verbal or online (cyberbullying.) If your child has an unexplained change in behavior such as: Impaired or deteriorating relationships with peers Difficulty making or keeping friends Increased sense of loneliness Increased anxiety levels or panic attacks Eating disorders Low self-esteem A decline in academic achievement These may be signs that your child is being bullied, you should ask your child and assess whether they are being frank you [...]

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 businesses did little to make themselves accessible to persons with disabilities. Disability Discrimination [...]

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 capacity to consent to sexual acts. Sexual assault usually falls into three different [...]


Prison conditions in the United States have the lowest standards compared to other highly developed countries, and the neglect and abuse in the for-profit prisons is worst of all.  Most alarming is the situation at Juvenile Detention Centers, where children as young as twelve years old are held.  Thankfully, there are inmate abuse and neglect attorneys bringing cases for these children throughout the country. In 2013, The Huffington Post , in the article “Prisoners for Profit”:reported: In 2001, an 18-year-old committed to a Texas boot camp operated by one of Slattery’s previous companies, Correctional Services Corp., came down with pneumonia and pleaded to see a doctor as he struggled to breathe. Guards accused the teen of faking it and forced him to do pushups in his own vomit, according to Texas law enforcement reports. After nine days of medical neglect, he died. This story is not an anomaly, this is what’s happening to children every day in the American prison system.  Many of them are being held for low-level crimes and simply for “behaviors,” that are offensive, without any crime having been committed.   According to the Prison Policy Initiative, some youths are locked up for non-criminal offenses such as “truancy, running away, violating curfew or being otherwise [...]

You-Too? Sexual Harassment – You Don’t Have to Take it Lying Down

QUEENS SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWYER CAN HELP YOU A Queens Sexual Harassment Lawyer can help you when you've been treated poorly on the job or at school.  Not so long ago, there was no recourse for these indignities, but times have changed.  Today Roseanne was canceled because of a horrific racist tweet.  Actors and politicians are being brought down due to their treatment of women in the workplace.  Our culture is moving towards zero tolerance of disrespect, and if you’ve been a victim, it’s time to speak up. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, it might be easier to tell your story to a woman attorney.  It’s embarrassing to talk about sexual advances or touching’s at work.  Nobody should have their economic futures at risk due to co-worker’s improper behavior.  No woman should ever have to choose between her dignity and her job. I worked as a teaching assistant for Civil Rights Attorney Haywood Burns and at the (Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) during law school, developing a solid foundation in Sexual Harassment law at my Personal Injury law firm Wittenstein & Wittenstein in Forest Hills.  Clients come to us from all over New York City (Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and [...]

The Psychological Impact of Bullying

Gone are the days when bullying was considered a “rite of passage” and parents whose children have been bullied are told things like “teach them to stand up for themselves” and that “boys will boys.”  We know now that bullying has serious has a serious lifelong impact on a child, and that it has been linked to the current rash of school shootings. While laws on the books are being strengthened, the enforcement of those laws is lagging behind.  It’s time to hold schools accountable for the harm due to the psychological impact of bullying o their students. According to National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment (NVEEE)“Every 7 MINUTES a child is bullied. Adult intervention – 4%. Peer intervention – 11%. No intervention – 85%.” Students who bully others, are bullied, or witness bullying are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than students who report no involvement in bullying (Center for Disease Control, 2014).  These harsh facts have led to stronger laws to protect students from bullying, but enforcement is lagging behind.  It is now clear that the psychological impact of bullying can be devastating. The United States Office for Civil Rights, issued directives to expand existing laws (The Civil Rights [...]

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