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, as well as substance abuse management and marijuana laws’ impact on employers.
Kathryn helps clients navigate workplace problems involving drugs and alcohol. She regularly works with corporate counsel and human resources executives to develop substance abuse policies to comply with federal drug and alcohol testing regulations (including all agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation), as well as state and local drug and alcohol testing laws and marijuana laws in 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. Kathryn also advises employers on leave and disability management issues arising when employees seek leave or other accommodations related to substance abuse rehabilitation.
Kathryn is the editor and a contributor to Jackson Lewis’ Drug and Alcohol Testing Law Advisor blog, a blog addressing developments in workplace drug and alcohol testing.
In addition to her workplace substance abuse practice, Kathryn 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, harassment and retaliation.. She guides clients through internal investigations, disciplinary actions and medical leave and accommodation issues. Kathryn frequently conducts management training for employers on a wide variety of employment law topics, including NY’s mandatory sexual harassment training, FMLA, ADA, substance abuse, drug testing and privacy issues.
Jury Trials To Verdict
Kathryn’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.
- Joint Hearing on “The Opioids Epidemic: Implications For America’s Workplaces,” U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions and the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2018
Honors and Recognitions
- The Best Lawyers in America©, "Employment Law - Management" and "Litigation - Labor and Employment" (2018-present)
- Long Island Business News, "Top 50 Women in Business" (2021)
- Long Island Business News, "Who’s Who in Professional Women" (2010)
- “Top Ten Mistakes Employers Make When Conducting Drug Testing,” DATIA Focus Magazine (Fall 2017) [Author]
- “Rethinking Drug Tests: Changing Marijuana Laws, Tight Labor Market Forcing Firms to Adjust Their Job Screening Policies,” Newsday, Feb. 9, 2020 [Quoted]
magna cum laude
magna cum laude