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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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February 15, 2018
Bloomberg BNA

Kathryn Russo Comments on the Impacts of Opioids in the Workplace

February 15, 2018

Kathryn Russo comments on the workplace impacts of opioid addiction, including increased work-related accidents and injuries, increased employee turnover and increased workers’ compensation costs in "Opioid Epidemic Is Major Workplace Concern, Lawmakers Told," published by Bloomberg BNA. Subscription may be required to view... Read More

February 8, 2018
SHRM

Kathryn Russo Discusses Vermont's Recreational Marijuana Law

February 8, 2018

Kathryn Russo discusses Vermont becoming the ninth state to “legalize” recreational marijuana use and how it impacts employers in "Vermont Legalizes Recreational Marijuana," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

January 24, 2018
SHRM

Kathryn Russo Comments on the Increase of Employers Requiring Opioid Testing

January 24, 2018

Kathryn Russo comments on more employers testing for opioids in the workplace due to the growing problem of prescription painkillers abuse in "Opioid Testing by Employers Is Becoming More Common," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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January 5, 2018

U.S. Department of Justice Reverses Hands-Off Enforcement Policy on Marijuana

January 5, 2018

Three days after retail sales of recreational marijuana became legal in California, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced a new marijuana enforcement policy that calls for rescinding the long-standing, lenient policy set by the Obama Administration. In a one-page memorandum issued on January 4, 2018, Sessions, stressing... Read More

November 16, 2017

Transportation Department Expands Drug Testing Panel to Include Certain ‘Semi-Synthetic’ Opioids

November 16, 2017

Employers regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) should revise their drug and alcohol testing policies to conform to new DOT regulations that added four “semi-synthetic” opioid drugs to the DOT drug testing panel. The new regulations go into effect on January 1, 2018. DOT announced in a rule published in the Federal... Read More

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

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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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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

Vermont’s Governor Signs Recreational Marijuana Law
January 24, 2018

Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott signed a recreational marijuana law on January 22, 2018. The law is the first recreational marijuana law to be enacted by a state legislature without a ballot initiative.  It will take effect on July 1, 2018. Read More

Employee’s Refusal to Take Drug Test Could Not Support Age and Gender Discrimination Claims
January 15, 2018

A federal court in Massachusetts dismissed the age and gender discrimination claims of a long-term employee who was fired after he refused to take a “reasonable suspicion” drug test. Tombeno v. FedEx Corporate Services, Inc., CV. No. 16-cv-40008-TSH (D. Mass. Jan. 9, 2018). Read More

U.S. Department of Justice Ends Obama-Era Marijuana Policy
January 4, 2018

Three days after retail sales of marijuana became legal in California, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today a new marijuana enforcement policy which rescinds long-standing policy set by the Obama Administration. In a one-page memorandum, Mr. Read More