Cohen & Grigsby to Offer Insight on ‘Social Media at Work’ During Upcoming Seminar for Employers of All Kinds

May 19 Event to Provide CLE Credits and Credits Toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR Recertification Through the HR Certification Institute

PITTSBURGH, PA – May 3, 2011 – Cohen & Grigsby, a business law firm with headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA and an office in Bonita Springs, FL, will offer valuable insight and direction to employers this spring with a program titled “Social Media at Work.” The event will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 19, 2011 at the firm’s offices in the Cultural District (625 Liberty Avenue). Tailored specifically for HR directors and organizational leadership, “Social Media at Work” will discuss the workplace implications of online networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“Consider the recent case involving a Connecticut ambulance service employee discharged for posting criticism of a supervisor on Facebook. It set a ground-breaking precedent when the National Labor Relations Board intervened to defend the worker’s comments,” said Jack Elliott, president and CEO of Cohen & Grigsby, PC. “Ultimately, social media has created a new reality. Employers must carefully establish policies to address entirely new forms of communication, and while they have the right to regulate the use of social media, they must avoid violating workers’ rights. It is a difficult balancing act.”

Led by attorneys Lisa L. Garrett and James R. Haggerty, directors of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group, “Social Media at Work” will focus on six primary areas of concern: Organization Threats; Hiring and Discipline Minefields; Labor Law and Social Media; Discovery of Information in Litigation; Minimizing Risk of Claims; and Tips for Developing a Policy.

Garrett has represented clients in a broad cross section of industries, including financial institutions, healthcare, nonprofit agencies, manufacturing companies, law firms, private schools, and colleges and universities. She concentrates her practice in representing management in an array of employment related disputes. Her representation of management includes defending employers in employment litigation cases before federal and state courts, compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act and all titles of the Americans with Disabilities Act, preparation and review of personnel policies and employee handbooks, drafting and review of employment agreements, and providing general employment law advice.

Haggerty has represented employers in the full range of workplace issues with an emphasis on collective bargaining, labor arbitrations, contract administration and employment law litigation. He specializes in traditional labor law matters for large and small employers in a variety of industries, including steel, coal, trucking, glass, sports franchises, healthcare establishments, school districts and service providers.

“All employers should have a policy that addresses the use of electronic communications by workers, including e-mailing, blogging and social networking,” said Robert F. Prorok, practice head of Cohen & Grigsby’s Labor & Employment Group. “Rules within the policy are intended to ensure that electronic communication does not interfere with work processes, but cannot over-broadly restrict workers’ rights to discuss wages, working conditions and unionization.”

“Social Media at Work” is part of an annual series of events held by Cohen & Grigsby as a forum for human resources professionals to discuss the latest issues affecting labor and employment law. The course has been approved for 1.5 CLE credit hours, and for 1.5 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

To learn more about Cohen & Grigsby, please visit

HR and business professionals that would like to secure their attendance at the event can RSVP by Friday, May 13, 2011 to

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