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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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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

May 11, 2018
Newsday

Kathryn Russo Comments on the Difficulties the Opioid Epidemic has Posed on Employers in Long Island NY

May 11, 2018

Kathryn Russo comments on how employers are greatly impacted by the effects of the growing opioid epidemic and their increased need for guidance in “Opioid epidemic takes a toll on Long Island's businesses and workers,” published by Newsday. Subscription may be required to view article   Read More

May 4, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Kathryn Russo Comments on the Difficulties of Businesses Navigating Conflicting State and Federal Marijuana Laws

May 4, 2018

Kathryn Russo comments on businesses reexamining their drug testing policies for the first time in decades due to low unemployment rates and changing marijuana laws in “POT TOPICS: Businesses relax policies on pot, Trudeau vows to legalize,” published by the Chicago Sun-Times. Subscription may be required to view article... Read More

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June 5, 2018

Maine’s New Recreational Marijuana Law Permits Employers to Enforce Policies Restricting Use

June 5, 2018

Maine’s new recreational marijuana law permits employers to enforce workplace policies restricting the use of marijuana and to take disciplinary action in accordance with those workplace policies. The new law, which took effect on May 2, 2018, replaced one that had been the subject of controversy, particularly with regard to certain... Read More

April 24, 2018

Iowa Amends Tough Drug Testing Law to Lower Standard for Positive Alcohol Tests

April 24, 2018

Beginning July 1, 2018, private employers in Iowa may take action based on an employee’s alcohol test result of .02 grams of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath. The lower standard was enacted under a 2018 amendment to the Iowa drug testing law (Iowa Code Section 730.5). Prior to the amendment, employers could not take action... Read More

February 21, 2018

Maine Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Drug Testing, Disciplinary Consequences Imposed by Employers

February 21, 2018

A provision of Maine’s recreational marijuana law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use, as of February 1, 2018. This law effectively prevents Maine employers from testing for marijuana for pre-employment purposes. The law also affects employers who employ employees subject to federal... Read More

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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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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

Maine’s New Recreational Marijuana Law Permits Employers to Enforce Policies Restricting Use
June 5, 2018

Maine’s new recreational marijuana law permits employers to enforce workplace policies restricting the use of marijuana and to take disciplinary action in accordance with those workplace policies. Read More

New York State Enacted Budget Includes Opioid Legislation
April 25, 2018

Please click here to read our colleagues’ article New York State Enacted Budget Includes Opioid Legislation.  As part of the 2018-2019 New York State Budget, the Governor and the Legislature have agreed to a package of legislation addressing the opioid crisis in New York that includes requiring opioid manufacturers and distributors Read More

FDA Seeks Comments on Potential Marijuana Reclassification Under International Drug Control Treaty
April 19, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration requested comments in a notice published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2018 concerning the “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use” of five marijuana-related substances: cannabis plant and resin; extracts and ti Read More