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Kathryn J. Russo

New York Metro
Long Island

P 631-247-4606
F 631-247-0417


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 12, 2019

Kathryn Russo Comments on Implications of New York City Council Passing Ban on Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

April 12, 2019

Kathryn Russo comments on the implications of New York City Council passing legislation that bans pre-employment testing for marijuana in "New York City Council Passes Ban on Pre-Employment Testing for Marijuana," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

March 25, 2019
Chief Executive

Kathryn Russo Discuses How Changing Marijuana Laws are Affecting Workplace Hiring Policies

March 25, 2019

Kathryn Russo discusses the shifting legal landscape for marijuana laws and how it is impacting hiring practices in "Reefer Madness: The Thorniest Labor Issue Of The Decade," published by Chief Executive.  Subscription may be required to view article Read More

February 6, 2019
Jackson Lewis

Kathryn Russo Discusses Implications of Retaliation Claims Under Medical Marijuana Laws

February 6, 2019

Kathryn Russo discusses the implications of legal protections for employees’ medical marijuana use in light of recent pro-worker court rulings, in "Medical Marijuana Use Worker Protections Growing, Rulings Show," published by Bloomberg Law. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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April 12, 2019

New York City Employers May Be Barred from Testing Job Applicants for Marijuana Use

April 12, 2019

The New York City Council has passed a prohibition on New York City employers requiring prospective employees to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. If Intro 1445-A becomes law, it will be the first of its kind in the United States. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected... Read More

November 12, 2018

Voters in Three States Approve Marijuana Laws on Election Day

November 12, 2018

Three states approved new marijuana laws on Election Day 2018. Voters approved medical marijuana laws in Missouri and Utah, while Michigan voters approved a recreational marijuana law. Michigan: Recreational Marijuana Michigan Proposal 1 was passed by a majority (approximately 55% “Yes” and 45% “No”). Proposal 1, the Michigan... Read More

October 16, 2018

New OSHA Guidance: Certain Safety Incentive Programs, Post-Accident Drug Tests Permissible

October 16, 2018

Most safety incentive programs and post-incident drug testing policies will not be considered retaliatory and unlawful under a new Standard Interpretation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA’s “Clarification of OSHA’s Position on Workplace Safety Incentive Programs and Post-Incident Drug Testing Under... 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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See AllBlog Posts by Kathryn J. Russo

New Mexico Amends Medical Marijuana Law To Provide Employment Protections
April 15, 2019

The New Mexico medical marijuana law has been amended to provide employment protections to employees and applicants. The amendments were signed into law by the governor on April 4, 2019. Read More

New York City Will Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing in 2020
April 12, 2019

The New York City Council passed a law on April 9, 2019 that will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. The law is expected to be signed by the mayor and will take effect one year later. This law is the first of its kind in the United States. Read More

Medical Marijuana Users May Not Be Discriminated Against In New Jersey
March 29, 2019

A New Jersey appellate court has held that a disabled employee may sue his former employer under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) for alleged discrimination based on the employee’s use of medical marijuana. Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc., et al., Docket No. A-3072-17T3 (N.J. App. Div. Mar. 27, 2019). Read More

By Kathryn J. Russo and Mary-Ann Czak