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Kathryn J. Russo

Principal
Long Island

P 631-247-4606
F 631-247-0417
RussoK@jacksonlewis.com

Biography

Kathryn J. Russo is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is a firm resource on the legal issues implicated in workplace drug and alcohol testing arising under federal, state and local laws.

Ms. Russo assists clients with workplace problems involving drugs and alcohol, and gives advice about compliance with all pertinent drug and alcohol testing laws. She prepares substance abuse policies to comply with all federal drug and alcohol testing regulations (including all agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation), as well as the drug and alcohol testing laws of all 50 states. In addition, she defends employers in litigation where drug and alcohol test results are at issue, and frequently conducts “reasonable suspicion” training for employers in connection with their substance abuse policies. Ms. Russo also counsels employers on leave and disability management issues arising when employees seek leave for substance abuse rehabilitation.

In addition to her workplace substance abuse practice, Ms. Russo concentrates her practice on employment litigation, defending employers in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies and arbitration panels in litigation related to employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, whistleblower, wage-hour and related tort and contract claims. Ms. Russo advises clients on compliance with various state and federal laws affecting the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and New York State and City laws, among others. She guides clients through internal investigations, disciplinary actions and medical leave issues, and prepares workplace policies and employee handbooks. Ms. Russo frequently lectures and conducts management training for employers on a wide variety of employment law topics, including EEO/anti-harassment, FMLA, ADA, substance abuse, drug testing and privacy issues.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Russo worked for a law firm in New York City, where she litigated general commercial disputes, employment matters, legal malpractice cases, and defended attorneys and physicians in disciplinary proceedings.

While attending law school, she was the Articles & Commentary Editor for the Fordham Urban Law Journal.

Jury Trials To Verdict

Ms. Russo’s jury trial experience includes the following:

  • Mendelsohn v. Mercy Medical Center, U.S.D.C., E.D.N.Y. In this gender discrimination case, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant employer.
  • Oge v. Vijax Fuel Corp., U.S.D.C., E.D.N.Y. In this race and national origin discrimination case, the court entered a directed verdict for the defendant employer.

Representative Reported Summary Judgment Victories

  • Malaney v. El Al Israel Airlines, 331 Fed. Appx. 772, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 11370 (2d Cir. 2009).
  • Taylor v. Family Residences & Essential Enterprises, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6915 (E.D.N.Y. 2008).
  • Jones v. GEICO, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29277 (E.D.N.Y. 2006).
  • Livingston v. Adecco, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43346 (E.D.N.Y. 2005).
  • Brown v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 297 A.D.2d 205, 746 N.Y.S.2d 141 (1st Dep’t 2002).
  • Biscaino v. Federal Express Corp., 290 A.D.2d 406, 736 N.Y.S.2d 600 (2d Dep’t 2002).

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Suffolk County Bar Association

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers Award Badge

See AllKathryn J. Russo in the News

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October 13, 2017
SHRM

Kathryn Russo Discusses Questions Employers Should Refrain from Asking Employees and Job Candidates about Illegal Drug Use

October 13, 2017

Kathryn Russo discusses questions employers should not ask employees or applicants about illegal drug use in "Combatting the Prescription Drug Crisis," in SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

August 15, 2017
Jackson Lewis

Best Lawyers in America© Honors Jackson Lewis Attorneys in Its 2018 Edition

August 15, 2017

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2017) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce 193 attorneys, were recognized in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a publication that has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. The Best Lawyers lists are... Read More

August 14, 2017
Trucks.com

Kathryn Russo Comments on Marijuana Testing Policies in the Trucking Industry

August 14, 2017

Kathryn Russo comments on marijuana legalization and its impact on the trucking industry in "Trucking Contemplates Drug Policies in Age of Legal Pot," published by Trucks.com. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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August 11, 2017

Federal Law Does Not Preempt Connecticut Medical Marijuana Law Employment Discrimination Prohibition

August 11, 2017

Federal law does not preempt the Connecticut medical marijuana statute’s prohibition on employers’ firing or refusing to hire qualified medical marijuana patients, even if they test positive on an employment-related drug test, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut has held. Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Co., LLC,... Read More

May 25, 2017

Employer’s Refusal to Hire Medical Marijuana User Violates State Law, Rhode Island State Court Holds

May 25, 2017

Employers cannot refuse to hire a medical marijuana cardholder, even if the individual admittedly would not pass the employer’s pre-employment drug test required of all applicants, a Rhode Island state court has held under the state medical marijuana law. Callaghan v. Darlington Fabrics Corp., et al., No. PC-2014-5680 (R.I. Super. Ct.,... Read More

November 11, 2016

Seven States Pass New Marijuana Laws on Election Day

November 11, 2016

Election Day 2016 saw voters approve new marijuana laws in seven states. There are now a total of 28 states (plus the District of Columbia) with medical marijuana laws and 8 states (plus the District of Columbia) with recreational marijuana laws. Arizona’s proposed recreational marijuana law did not pass. Medical Marijuana 1... Read More

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See AllBlog Posts by Kathryn J. Russo

Substance Abuse as a FMLA-Qualifying Event
October 5, 2017

We invite you to read our colleagues’ blog post addressing substance abuse as a FMLA-qualifying event on the Jackson Lewis Disability, Leave and Health Management Blog, which you can read by clicking here:  What Am I Doing Wrong?  Common FMLA Mistakes.… Read More

Federal Law Does Not Preempt Connecticut Medical Marijuana Law Employment Discrimination Prohibition
August 11, 2017

Federal law does not preempt the Connecticut medical marijuana statute’s prohibition on employers’ firing or refusing to hire qualified medical marijuana patients, even if they test positive on an employment-related drug test, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut has held. Noffsinger v. Read More

Employer’s Refusal to Hire Medical Marijuana User Violates State Law, Rhode Island State Court Holds
May 25, 2017

Employers cannot refuse to hire a medical marijuana cardholder, even if the individual admittedly would not pass the employer’s pre-employment drug test required of all applicants, a Rhode Island state court has held under the state medical marijuana law. Callaghan v. Darlington Fabrics Corp., et al., No. PC-2014-5680 (R.I. Super. Read More