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Kathryn J. Russo

Principal
Long Island

P 631-247-4606
F 631-247-0417
Kathryn.Russo@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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September 13, 2018
HR Dive

Kathryn Russo Comments on Refusal to Hire Medical Marijuana User Violates State Law, Connecticut Court Holds

September 13, 2018

Kathryn Russo comments on Connecticut federal court granting summary judgment to a job applicant after an employer refused to hire her because she tested positive for marijuana in a pre-employment drug test in "Connecticut Court Holds That Refusing To Hire Medical Marijuana User Constitutes Employment Discrimination, published... Read More

August 15, 2018
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

August 15, 2018

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2018) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce more than 200 attorneys throughout the firm’s locations have been named to the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a publication that has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal... Read More

June 1, 2018
Occupational Health & Safety Magazine

Kathryn Russo Authors "Top Ten Mistakes Employers Make When Conducting Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing"

June 1, 2018

Kathryn Russo authors "Top Ten Mistakes Employers Make When Conducting Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing," published by DATIA Focus Magazine. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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September 6, 2018

Refusing to Hire Medical Marijuana User Violates State Law, Connecticut Court Holds

September 6, 2018

Refusing to hire a medical marijuana user because she tested positive on a pre-employment drug test violates Connecticut’s medical marijuana law, a federal court in Connecticut has held, granting summary judgment to the job applicant on her employment discrimination claim. Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Co., LLC, d/b/a Bride Brook... Read More

June 28, 2018

Oklahoma Voters Pass Broad Medical Marijuana Law with Workplace Anti-Discrimination Provisions

June 28, 2018

Oklahoma became the 30th state to pass a medical marijuana law. Voters approved the measure on June 26, 2018. The new law gives physicians broad discretion to prescribe medical marijuana, which should make it fairly easy to obtain. Additionally, it restricts employers from taking action against applicants or employees solely based on... Read More

June 21, 2018

What Vermont’s Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Means for Employers

June 21, 2018

Vermont’s recreational marijuana law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, lifts penalties for individuals possessing limited amounts of marijuana. However, the new law does not require employers to tolerate marijuana possession or use in the workplace. Further, employers may continue to test for marijuana, though any adverse... Read More

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See All Upcoming Kathryn J. Russo Events

Nov 9

Portsmouth, NH
Register Now

2018 Annual Portsmouth Employment Law Conference

November 9, 2018 - 8:00 AM to 12:15 PM EST
100 Deer St. - Portsmouth, NH
Credits: CLE - Pending, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Archived

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Drug & Alcohol Testing and Marijuana in the Workplace

January 29, 2018 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

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Archived

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OSHA’s Big Pivot: How the New Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Impacts Injury Reporting, Prevention and Drug Testing Programs

May 24, 2016 - 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM EST
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Archived

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Medical Marijuana in New York: Is Your Workplace Ready?

January 27, 2016 - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST
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See AllBlog Posts by Kathryn J. Russo

OSHA Clarifies Its Position On Post-Accident Drug Testing; States That “Most Instances of Workplace Drug Testing Are Permissible”
October 12, 2018

In a memorandum to Regional Administrators dated October 11, 2018, OSHA clarified the agency’s position as to whether certain types of drug testing would be considered violations of 29 C.F.R. §1904.35(b)(1)(iv). Read More

Marijuana-Based Drug Is Placed On Schedule V of Controlled Substances Act
September 27, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration announced on September 27, 2018 that Epidiolex, a cannabis-based drug approved by the Food & Drug Administration, is being placed in Schedule V of the federal Controlled Substances Act, the least restrictive schedule of the CSA. Read More

Connecticut Court Holds That Refusing To Hire Medical Marijuana User Constitutes Employment Discrimination
September 6, 2018

A federal court in Connecticut has held that refusing to hire a medical marijuana user who tested positive on a pre-employment drug test violates the state’s medical marijuana law. The Court granted summary judgment to the applicant on her claim for employment discrimination but declined to award her attorneys’ fees or punitive damages. Read More