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Mark A. de Bernardo

Washington, D.C. Region*

*Admitted only in DC

P 703-483-8334
F 703-483-8301


Mark A. de Bernardo is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He concentrates his practice on employment litigation and counseling, government relations, and workplace drug testing and substance-abuse prevention.

Mr. de Bernardo's specialty is representation of employers on senior executive personnel actions. He has extensive experience in the management of employment-related class actions.

Mr. de Bernardo has provided legal representation to more than 50 Fortune 200 corporations; five federal executive branch agencies; the states of Kansas, Louisiana, and California; the governments of Japan, Spain, and the Bahamas; and nearly 20 national trade associations.

In regard to senior executive personnel actions, Mr. de Bernardo is in demand regarding the investigation, adverse employment action, negotiation of severance, and litigation of employment claims by highly placed corporate executives.

Mr. de Bernardo has testified more than 40 times before Congress and various federal and state regulatory agencies and legislative committees on employment and labor law issues as part of his government relations practice. He has submitted or participated in 11 amici curiae briefs to the United States Supreme Court, and nearly 30 amici briefs overall to various courts on behalf of trade associations, business coalitions, and corporate clients.

Mr. de Bernardo is the founder (in 2000), and serves as the President of the Council for Employment Law Equity, a national coalition advocating fair and appropriate policy-making in the employment area. In recent years, Mr. de Bernardo has testified in Congress seven times on behalf of the CELE on arbitration, criminal-background checks, and civil rights issues, and on U.S. Supreme Court employment law decisions. The CELE also regularly files amicus curiae briefs and comments during federal agency rule-makings.
Mr. de Bernardo is the founder (in 1989), and serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, a national coalition dedicated to promoting and preserving the rights of employers and employees in effective substance-abuse-prevention programs, and he served as the President of the Foundation for Drug Education and Awareness. Mr. de Bernardo is the author of four state drug-testing laws, and the only workplace drug-testing law endorsed by the President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws. Among the many clients he has represented on drug-testing issues are the National Basketball Association, the U. S. House of Representatives, and more than 30 Fortune 200 corporations.

He is the author or co-author of 19 books on employment and labor law topics, including the two-volume, 1220-page Guide to State and Federal Drug-Testing Laws, now in its 16th Edition.

He is a frequent speaker at conferences, and has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Crossfire, Larry King Live, and the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news. Mr. de Bernardo has been quoted in such publications as Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

After graduation from Georgetown Law, Mr. de Bernardo served as Special Counsel for Domestic Policy and Director of Labor Law for the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, he clerked for a federal judge – the Right Honorable Henry F. McQuade.

Mr. de Bernardo is active in a number of professional and community organizations. He was appointed, and twice reappointed, by the Japanese government as the American management representative to the Japan Institute of Labour. He also has contributed chapters to several ABA publications, and has been a guest lecturer at the U.S. Army War College, NYU, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, George Washington, American, and the University of Kansas.

He served in the United States Navy Reserve from 1972 to 1975.

He and his wife Jennifer have three sons – Joseph, Matthew, and Jonathan – and reside in Vienna, Virginia.

Honors and Recognitions

  • Chambers USA
Best Lawyers Award Badge

Professional Associations and Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Council for Employment Law Equity, Founder and President
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Foundation for Drug Education and Awareness, President
  • Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, Founder and Executive Director
  • U.S. Supreme Court Bar

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales, Board of Directors
  • Gonzaga College High School Fathers’ Club
  • The Hunger Project, Global Investment Committee Member
  • Lido Civic and Community Club, Executive Committee Member

Published Works

  • Guide to State & Federal Drug-Testing Laws. DC: Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, 16 ed. (2012) [Co-Author]
  • Workplace Drug Testing: An Employer's Development & Implementation Guide. DC: Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, 3rd ed. [Author]
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention and the ADA. DC: Insitute for a Drug-Free Workplace, 2nd ed. [Author]

See AllMark A. de Bernardo in the News

August 15, 2018
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

August 15, 2018

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2018) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce more than 200 attorneys throughout the firm’s locations have been named to the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a publication that has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal... Read More

September 16, 2016
Law 360

Mark de Bernardo Comments on Marijuana Legalization and Drug-Free Workplaces

September 16, 2016

Mark de Bernardo comments on marijuana legalization and workplace drug policies in "Marijuana Legalization Votes Won’t End Drug-Free Workplaces," published by Law 360.  Subscription may be required to view article Read More

See AllBlog Posts by Mark A. de Bernardo

Marijuana-Legalization Efforts and Their Impact on the Presidential Race
September 4, 2015

With the race for the White House heating up, the “politics of marijuana” is looming as a possibly significant factor. Read More

By Robert Horn and Mark A. de Bernardo