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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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April 23, 2018
Inside OSHA Online

Kathryn Russo Discusses Labor Secretary Acosta's Comments During Recent Congressional Hearing on Jobs Gap

April 23, 2018

Kathryn Russo discusses Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta signaling a “step back” in the Trump Administration's strict zero-tolerance approach on drug use in the workplace, opening the door to a possible softening in OSHA's plans to roll back an Obama-era rule that precludes company policies, such as drug testing in "Acosta Waivers... Read More

March 30, 2018
WorkBoat

Kathryn Russo Comments on Implications of Maine's Marijuana Laws

March 30, 2018

Kathryn Russo comments on Maine's marijuana laws and its impact on maritime operators and employees in "Marijuana ban may be keeping some from entering marine industry," published by WorkBoat. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

March 26, 2018
HR Dive

Kathryn Russo Comments on Employers Lacking Qualified Job Candidates Due to Skills Gap

March 26, 2018

Kathryn Russo comments on reports of employers lacking eligible job candidates due to the opioid crisis and relaxed marijuana laws in "Inside the perfect storm of problems that created the nation's skills gap," published by HR Dive. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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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

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

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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

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

Maine Department of Labor Provides No Guidance Concerning the Impact of the State’s Recreational Marijuana Law on Workplace Drug Testing
March 7, 2018

Effective February 1, 2018, a provision in Maine’s recreational marijuana law impacts workplace drug testing. As we previously blogged here, the law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use, as of February 1, 2018. Read More

Maine Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Workplace Drug Testing As Well As 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. Read More