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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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August 15, 2019
Jackson Lewis

The Best Lawyers in America 2020 Honors Jackson Lewis Attorneys

August 15, 2019

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2019) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce more than 210 attorneys throughout the firm’s locations have been recognized in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, a publication that has become universally regarded as a definitive... Read More

August 7, 2019

Kathryn Russo Comments on the Growing Popularity of CBD Use and its Impact on Workplace Drug Testing

August 7, 2019

Kathryn Russo comments on the evolving CBD marketplace and its impact on workplace drug testing in "Cannabis Oil Complicates Drug Testing," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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

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July 15, 2019

New Jersey Amends Medical Marijuana Law to Provide Job Protections, Include Drug Testing Procedures

July 15, 2019

New Jersey has provided job protections to medical marijuana users and created new drug testing procedures under new law signed by Governor Phil Murphy on July 2, 2019, that took effect upon signing. The new law also changes the name of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (N.J.S.A. 24:61-2 et seq.) to the “Jake... Read More

June 11, 2019

Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

June 11, 2019

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”) (HB 1438) on May 31, 2019. Governor J.B. Pritzker has stated he will sign the bill.  The Act legalizes marijuana for recreational purposes. The Act, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, will allow anyone over the age of 21 to possess, use, or buy... Read More

May 13, 2019

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

May 13, 2019

New York City has enacted a law prohibiting New York City employers from requiring prospective employees to submit to testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. The new law, the first of its kind in the United States, became effective on May 10, 2019. The obligations under Intro... 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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See AllBlog Posts by Kathryn J. Russo

FMCSA Clearinghouse Registration Is Now Open; Clearinghouse Goes Live on January 6, 2020
October 1, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on October 1, 2019 that Clearinghouse registration is now open. The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an electronic database that will contain information about commercial motor vehicle drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations. Read More

New Jersey’s Amended Medical Marijuana Law Provides Job Protections And Includes Drug Testing Procedures
July 12, 2019

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on July 2, 2019 the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (“CUMCA”) to expand patient access to medical marijuana and to reform the State’s medical marijuana program. The law amends the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. Read More

Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, Posing Challenges For Employers
June 12, 2019

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”) (HB 1438) on May 31, 2019, legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Governor J.B. Read More

By Kathryn J. Russo, Jody Wilner Moran, J. Casey Leech and Katherine S. Bailey