Christopher T. Cognato advises public and private employers on a range of labor and employment issues and represents them in litigation and administrative proceedings. His experience includes cases brought under Title VII and the ADA, FMLA, FLSA, PHRA, and NLRA. He frequently helps clients develop employment policies, including those related to hiring, firing, disciplinary practices, employee leave, and reasonable accommodations.
Mr. Cognato has advised clients in connection with collective bargaining negotiations and has assisted in representations before the National Labor Relations Board and Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. He also has advised places of public accommodation on accessibility issues arising under Title III of the ADA and related federal and state laws.
Pro Bono Experience
Mr. Cognato's pro bono experience includes drafting employee handbooks for nonprofits and providing regular counseling for one of those organizations on a wide range of employment issues. He also assists immigrants who have been victims of crime and minors who are without a parent or guardian in the United States in obtaining employment authorization. He works with a team of lawyers at Ballard Spahr and students from the Penn Law chapter of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project to help Afghan and Iraqi nationals obtain refugee or immigrant status.
He also represents claimants applying for Social Security benefits in administrative proceedings and in helping indigent clients obtain copies of important documents, such as birth certificates, and with filing change of name petitions.