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New York Employment Law & Personal Injury Blog

Can a car crash paralyze you?

If your neck or back becomes injured in a New York car crash, the results could be catastrophic. Depending on the nature and location of your spinal cord injury, you could become paralyzed and have to live in a wheelchair the rest of your life as a paraplegic or quadriplegic.

As Brain and Spinal Cord explains, how much of your body becomes paralyzed as the result of a car crash or any other type of back injury depends on where your injury occurs. The easiest way to understand this is by understanding the four regions of your spinal cord and the respective parts of your body they affect, which are as follows:

  1. Your spine’s cervical region extends from the base of your brain to the lower portion of your neck
  2. Your spine’s thoracic region extends from the bottom of your neck to your waist
  3. Your spine’s lumbar region extends from your waist to your lower back
  4. Your spine’s sacral region extends from your lower back to your tailbone

SCOTUS: ADEA applies to all sizes of public sector employers

A unanimous, eight-member Supreme Court has just ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) applies to public sector employers regardless of their size. The law prohibits employment discrimination against those 40 and older. The ruling will allow two firefighters to pursue age discrimination claims against their small Arizona fire district.

It was a question of statutory interpretation. When considering such a matter, courts look to the natural reading and grammatical structure of the statute, along with congressional intent and previous court rulings on similar questions. Here, the case turned on how the ADEA defines which employers are to be covered by the law.

Car crashes and erratic pedestrian behavior

Motor vehicle wrecks take place for countless reasons, some of which are quite common (drunk driving accidents, fender benders, and so on), while others involve elements that are unusual. For example, a traffic accident which involves a pedestrian may take place because of the pedestrian’s erratic behavior. Whether you drive near pedestrians or you walk on the road yourself, it is crucial to be aware of this issue and do everything you can to avoid a pedestrian accident.

Some pedestrians may exhibit strange behavior for various reasons, whether they are suffering from a mental illness, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or are suicidal. Unfortunately, some may walk in busy traffic at night and drivers may have a very hard time seeing them. For example, someone who is driving down the freeway late at night may not see a pedestrian in the middle of the road until it is too late. Moreover, erratic pedestrian behavior can cause a driver to collide with another vehicle as they try to avoid the pedestrian.

Google employees walk out in protest of sexual harassment

At offices around the world, Google employees staged a walkout to protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations. The walkout followed a report in The New York Times that revealed the company gave Android creator Andy Rubin a $90 million exit package, after claims he committed sexual assault proved credible.

In New York City, protesters gathered at Hudson River Park and overflowed the park’s capacity.

Toxic metal cadmium found in chain store jewelry again

Testing done for the nonprofit Center for Environmental Health found that some jewelry sold as included accessories for women's shirts and dresses sold at Ross, Papaya and Nordstrom Rack was made almost entirely of cadmium. The metal is known to cause both kidney, bone and reproductive issues, including cancer, after prolonged exposure.

Many consumer advocates had hoped that cadmium was no longer being used in the U.S. jewelry market. In 2010, the Associated Press discovered that some Chinese manufacturers were making children's jewelry out of the toxic metal, sometimes substituting it for lead. Several states then outlawed cadmium in kids' jewelry, and testing indicated that it had fallen out of use by 2012.

EEOC reports 12-percent increase in sexual harassment charges

Just a year ago, the first #MeToo complaints in relation to Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein hit the presses. Although the movement itself has been around for several years, it was likely the Weinstein accusations that initiated a deluge of sexual harassment and misconduct complaints against men in the media, politics and other fields. Thanks to survivors standing up and speaking out with credible allegations, a number of wrongdoers lost their positions of power. Some have even faced criminal charges.

The #MeToo movement isn't a court of law, however, and the outcome of #MeToo allegations is dictated largely by public opinion. That does not mean that the complaints do not have merit. Many survivors have chosen to file sexual harassment charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or with state or local human rights agencies.

Limo company failures, unsafe intersection may be factors in crash

New York is still reeling after the recent crash of a stretch limousine in upstate New York that resulted in the death of 18 occupants, including the driver and 17 people headed to a birthday party, and two pedestrians. A 2001 Ford Excursion that had been modified into a limo reportedly blew through the stop sign at a T-junction intersection, then struck a parked SUV and the two pedestrians. The limo was operated by Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service.

The crash may be the deadliest land-vehicle wreck in the U.S. since 2005, when 23 people were killed in a bus in Texas. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, as are the New York State Police.

Your role in preventing motorcycle collisions

When it comes to roadway safety, every person in every type of vehicle can contribute to the safety of others on the road. Whether you drive on two, three, four or 18 wheels, your awareness and behavior on the roads affects the safety of everyone else near you.

For motorcyclists in New York, the risks of injury and death exceed those of other travelers on the road. While motorcycles make up only two percent of all registered vehicles in New York City, they account for 14 percent of fatalities on the roads in the city.

Is IBM 'cutting old heads' by targeting layoffs at those over 40?

According to the independent newsroom ProPublica, since 2012, IBM has laid off at least 20,000 employees age 40 and over. In fact, in the past 5 years alone, about 60 percent of IBM's total U.S. job cuts have involved people 40 and over.

The layoffs came in a time of cost-cutting and changes to IBM's workforce in order to keep the company competitive. Yet they also come during a time of rebranding for the company -- especially toward Millennials. ProPublica found evidence that IBM wanted to come across as younger and hipper, so it began cutting "gray hairs" and "old heads."

Why don't commercial trucks have crash-avoidance technology?

According to federal data, the number of fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks is up 28 percent since 2009. In 2016, 4,300 people were killed in trucking accidents in the United States.

Yet it has been two decades since the National Transportation Safety Board first urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require technology on commercial trucks that would prevent them from rear-ending other vehicles. At least 10 times since the late 1990s, the NTSB has recommended that NHTSA mandate forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems on heavy commercial vehicles. NHTSA hasn't even published a proposal yet.

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