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.
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.
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.
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.