DAG, Korn address 1990 Disabilities Act

By Chris Takacs ‘05
NEWS EDITOR
& Kat Lexa ‘05
NEWS WRITER

The Disability Action Group sponsored a Thursday nigh lecture by Lindy Korn, Esq., about the ethics of disability in the workplace. According to DAG, Lindy Korn “is the President, Founder, and CEO of Diversity Training-Workplace Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm which assists employers with employment related risks in a proactive manner by establishing fair operating procedures.”

DAG invited Korn to speak at Hamilton College “because she’s an expert on her field,” said Jennifer Taransky ’03, a member of the organization. “It would be a great way to build coalition outside of Hamilton,”

Added Taransky, “DAG is a group committed to action towards equality for all people of all abilities. We bring a speaker every semester and host panels and workshops to bring awareness of disability issues to Hamilton and the surrounding area.”

Lindy Korn is a “lawyer in discrimination litigation, a mediator in workplace dispute resolution, and counsel for the law offices of Siegel, Kelleher and Kahn. She is a compassionate professional who goes the extra mile,” writes Nancy Eckerson of Eve Magazine. Lindy gained experience with conflict and discrimination in the workplace during her tenure as the Commissioner of Worker’s Compensation in the state of New York. She held hearings across the state that dealt with discrimination issues in the workplace.

Korn began her lecture by outlining her speech: “I want to talk about what is happening in the field, real life cases.” “In the past,” Korn stated, “the area of disability was something that wasn’t given much legal attention.” She explained that only after the Americans with Disabilities Act was created in 1990 did the government actually recognize discrimination based on disability.

Korn also explained that until only very recently employers won more disability discrimination cases than employees. She then went into the detail of a number of cases where workers were unfairly discriminated against in their employment, as well as cases in which persons with disabilities were excluded form participating in activities such as using the internet.

Korn emphasized the usefulness of “interactive conversations” between employers and employees with accommodation requests. She stated that “relationships often more that law determin the outcome of a conflict.”

According to Eckerson, “Korn recognized the need for help in the workplace. People needed to be educated about discrimination law, sexual harassment and tolerance of our differences…she decided to create a firm to deal with these issues, and more importantly, to provide a training ground with a proactive approach of prevention.”

Korn finished her lecture with an interactive role-laying presentation, elucidating the alienation employees with disabilities can experience when communicating with superiors.

When describing her approach to law, Korn said, “I call myself a holistic lawyer.” She explained that each case inherently contained a variety of components, and that each was important to the outcome of the case. Korn referred to her kind of law practice as “Holistic Law,” saying that holistic law “requires lawyers with disabled clients, for example, to study and understand the client’s disabilities in order to properly represent them.”