Christopher Cognato
Christopher Cognato

Christopher T. Cognato

Associate

cognatoc@ballardspahr.com
Tel 215.864.8612
Fax 215.864.8999
Philadelphia

Christopher T. Cognato advises public and private employers on a range of labor and employment issues. He helps clients develop employment policies relating to personnel and employment law issues and advises clients regarding compliance with various employment and labor laws, including Title VII, PHRA, FMLA, FLSA, ADA, and NLRA. He also counsels on hiring, firing, and disciplinary practices as well as restrictive covenant matters.

Mr. Cognato also 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..

Pro Bono Experience

Mr. Cognato's pro bono experience includes work with immigrants who have been victims of crime, assisting them in obtaining employment authorization through U visas. He also 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. Mr. Cognato has drafted employee handbooks for nonprofits and provides regular counseling for one of those organizations on a wide range of employment issues. 

He also works with the Homeless Advocacy Project to represent claimants applying for Social Security benefits in administrative proceedings before the Social Security Administration and in helping clients obtain copies of important documents, such as birth certificates, and with filing change of name petitions.

Publications

Co-author, "Federal Court Notes Flaws in EEOC Stance on Severance Agreements," Ballard Spahr alert, October 10, 2014

Co-author, "Calif. Supreme Court Sides Against NLRB, Finds Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Enforceable," Ballard Spahr alert, June 27, 2014

Co-author, "Employee Benefits and the Unionized Workforce," chapter in ERISA: A Comprehensive Guide, 2011-2014 editions

Co-author, "Telecommuting May Be Reasonable ADA Accommodation for Some Workers, Sixth Circuit Holds," Ballard Spahr alert, April 29, 2014

Community Activities

Before joining the firm, Mr. Cognato was an extern at Constitution High School, a civics and social studies magnet school founded in 2006 through a partnership with Ballard Spahr, the National Constitution Center, and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History. His work included consulting on the development of the civics curriculum, research projects, and teaching assistance. Mr. Cognato continues to be active in mentoring and other activities at the school. He is a volunteer for the Philadelphia Bar Association's Advancing Civics Education (ACE) program, working with other lawyers to develop and present lessons at Constitution High regarding civics and the American legal system. 

Villanova University School of Law (J.D. 2009)
Managing Editor, Villanova Law Review; Member, Order of the Coif

University of Notre Dame (B.A. 2005, cum laude)

New Jersey

Pennsylvania