Skip Navigation or Skip to Content
NJL People: Joel Andersen

Joel’s diverse employment law practice comprises six areas: restrictive covenant and trade secret disputes, class and collective action defense, California employment law expertise, appellate advocacy, single plaintiff litigation, and HR counseling and advice.

As a Shareholder, Joel prosecutes and defends against non-competition, non-solicitation, and misappropriation claims in federal and state courts throughout the country, with particular expertise defending complex multi-party litigation when a group of employees jointly move their skills or business to a new employer. Joel defends companies against class litigation, including wage-and-hour and other representative claims. He lends his California expertise to companies nationwide, helping multi-state employers comply with, and defend litigation regarding California’s unique employment laws. He has a proven track record winning appeals before federal and state appellate courts, drawing upon his multiple federal circuit court clerkships. Joel rounds out his practice by advising and litigating a full range of employment disputes involving discipline and discharge; wage-and-hour compliance; race, age, sex, and disability discrimination suits; and whistleblower and retaliation claims.

Key Practice Experience


  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Honorable William J. Riley, 2005-2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Honorable David R. Thompson, 2004-2005
  • District of Nevada, Honorable Robert A. McQuaid, Jr., 2004-2004

Key Industry Experience

  • Manufacturing
  • Startups/Emerging Businesses
  • Retail
  • Food/Beverage
  • Health Care

Representative Matters

Trade Secret and Restrictive Covenant Litigation

  • Piper Sandler & Co. v. Gonzalez (D. Minn.) – Defeated motion for temporary restraining order and motion for expedited discovery on claim of breach of customer non-solicitation agreement in financial services industry.
  • C.H. Robinson Worldwide v. Traffic Tech (8th Cir.) – Obtained reversal of summary judgment on breach of non-solicit claims and improper application of state choice-of-law rules.
  • Boston Scientific v. Shockwave Medical (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motion for temporary restraining order, and subsequent motion for temporary injunction following expedited discovery. Court found on both motions that Boston Scientific completely failed to show even a single factor supported injunctive relief, leading Boston Scientific to dismiss all its claims with prejudice.
  • Miller v. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services (8th Cir.) – Obtained reversal of improvidently granted injunction in non-compete and customer non-solicit case under South Dakota law.
  • BTM Global Consulting v. Centium Consulting (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Obtained summary judgment on misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of non-compete, breach of confidentiality, and related tortious interference claims in dispute between NetSuite implementation companies.
  • J. Swanson & Co. v. Ighodaro Consulting (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motion for temporary injunction on sale-of-business non-compete claim.
  • ImageTrend, Inc. v. Locality Media, Inc. (D. Minn.) – Obtained dismissal of trade secret misappropriation, tortious interference, and corporate defamation claims in dispute between computer software companies.
  • Fulton v. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services (D. Minn.); Moeschler v. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services (D. Minn.); Honkamp Krueger Financial Services v. Anderson and Straumanis (Iowa Dist. Ct.) – Defeated multiple motions for temporary injunctions in non-compete and customer non-solicit cases under Iowa and Minnesota law.
  • Smart Express, Inc. v. Precision Diagnostics, Inc. (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motions for temporary restraining order in non-compete and customer non-solicit case, with court finding every factor favored defendants.
  • IWCO v. Nahan (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motion for temporary restraining order in trade secrets dispute between direct marketing competitors.
  • PMT v. Fredrickson (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Obtained six-figure sanctions award for discovery misconduct against opposing party and its counsel following two-day evidentiary hearing.
  • Mental Health Resources, Inc. v. ExpanseMN (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motion for temporary injunction seeking enforcement of sale-of-business and employment-based non-compete agreements in mental health industry.
  • Duncan LLC v. Allied Valve, Inc. (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motion for temporary restraining order in breach of confidentiality and trade secrets dispute.
  • Cambria Company LLC v. Mohawk Industries, Inc., Dal-Tile Tennessee, LLC and Schumann (D. Minn.) – Successfully opposed motion for preliminary injunction alleging inevitable disclosure of trade secrets and breach of contractual confidentiality provision.
  • Prime Therapeutics LLC v. Maxor National Pharmacy Services, LLC (D. Minn.) – Defeated injunction motion seeking to prevent high-level executive from becoming employed by competitor based on implementation of phased job duties negating alleged inevitable disclosure of trade secrets.
  • C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. v. Tu (D. Minn.) – Defeated motion for judgment on the pleadings arguing unenforceability of restrictive covenant agreement.
  • St. Jude Medical S.C., Inc. v. Suchomel (D. Minn.) – Defeated motion to dismiss term-of-years agreement as allegedly violating California public policy.
  • PCM Sales, Inc. v. [Employee] (C.D. Cal.) – Negotiated confidential settlement agreement requiring 10-month customer non-solicit for California employee based on stolen trade secrets.
  • Nilfisk, Inc. v. Liss (D. Minn.) – Obtained temporary restraining order prohibiting competing employment by former sales director employee.
  • TelCom Construction Inc. v. Michael Simon and MP Nexlevel, LLC (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – After replacing prior counsel, obtained vacatur of previously entered temporary injunction and obtained summary judgment on non-compete and tortious interference claims.
  • Achieved multimillion-dollar settlement during three-week jury trial involving claims for breach of non-solicitation agreement, tortious interference, and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Prosecuted restrictive covenant claims against former sales and executive employees in Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and California for national media company.
  • Enforced Minnesota forum-selection clause and non-solicitation agreement against former New Jersey sales manager.
  • Obtained injunctions and monetary settlements against former sales employees of national technology company in California, New York, and Oregon.
  • Enforced Minnesota forum-selection clause against California sales employee and imposed non-solicitation obligations.
  • Reached favorable settlement for national insurance company after injunction hearing against former executives.
  • Enforced non-competition agreements against former employees of Minnesota healthcare provider.
  • Represented national printing company in defense of non-competition claims involving hiring of new executive employee.

Wage-and-Hour Litigation

  • Represented national technology company in California, New York, and nationwide FLSA and state law hybrid action alleging meal and rest break, overtime, and derivative claims.
  • Achieved favorable settlements for national restaurant chain in Minnesota, Illinois, and FLSA tip-sharing and unpaid overtime cases.
  • Negotiated nuisance-value settlement in Florida off-the-clock wait staff class action.
  • Represented national manufacturing company in California meal and rest break and off-the-clock case.
  • Member of team that conducted company-wide wage-and-hour exemption classification audit of national medical device company Investigated harassment claims leading to termination of company CEO.
  • Obtained early pre-discovery resolution for national clothing retailer in California meal and rest break and off-the-clock cases.
  • Member of team that defended national utility company in Minnesota off-the-clock case, obtaining favorable settlement days before trial.

Employment Litigation

  • [Employee] v. [National Insurance Company] – Obtained summary judgment in multiple arbitrations on California employment and wage-and-hour claims.
  • Sheeks v. CNH Industrial (D. Neb.) – Obtained partial summary judgment on FMLA retaliation claim.
  • Represented multiple defendants in plaintiff and defendant class action involving social media recruiting advertisements
  • Represented national technology company in defense of race, gender, age, and disability claims by employees in New York, New Jersey, and California.
  • Defended manufacturing client in nationwide putative class action alleging across-the-board age discrimination under Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
  • Managed investigation of multiple members of executive team of national company involving whistleblower, harassment, and retaliation allegations.
  • Represented financial services company in Eighth Circuit appeal of race discrimination claims.
  • Represented janitorial services company in Eighth Circuit appeal of sexual harassment claims by eleven employees.
  • Won summary judgment for retail grocer in disability discrimination and Family and Medical Leave Act litigation.
  • Obtained affirmance of summary judgment for national energy company in Eighth Circuit appeal of Equal Pay Act claims of three employees.
  • Member of team that defended client in putative class action alleging across-the-board age discrimination under Minnesota law.

Recognition and Honors

  • Labor & Employment Star, Benchmark Litigation
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2013, 2014 and 2016

Publications and Presentations

Select Publications

  • “What Makes Minnesota tip-pooling Laws Unique,” Minnesota Lawyer, April 2, 2018
  • Co-Author,  Minnesota chapter, Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey 2014 Supplement, Bloomberg BNA, 2014
  • Co-Author,  Chapter 7, The Federal District of Minnesota Civil Practice Deskbook, Minnesota CLE, 2014
  • Co-Author, Chapter 9, The ADA Handbook, Minnesota CLE, 2013
  • “The Developing Labor Law: The Board, the Courts, and the National Labor Relations Act,” Contributing Editor, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, 5th Ed., 2007-2013
  • “The Indulgence of Reasonable Presumptions: Federal Court Contractual Jury Trial Waivers,” 102 Mich. L. Rev. 104, 2004

Select Presentations

  • “Non-Competes, Non-Solicits and Other Restrictive Covenants – How Proposed State and Federal Laws May Impact Advisory and Litigation Strategies,” Minnesota CLE, 2023 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 18-19, 2023
  • “No-Poach, Non-Solicit, and Non-Compete Agreements – How to Vet Applicants for Existing Agreements, Weigh Risks and Benefits of Proceeding with Job Offers, and Handle Onboarding,” Minnesota CLE, Hiring Employees, January 25, 2023
  • “Complex Restrictive Covenant Topics for the Advanced Practitioner,” Minnesota CLE, Drafting, Negotiating, and Enforcing Non-Competes and Other Restrictive Covenants, September 20, 2022
  • “Complex Restrictive Covenant Topics for the Advanced Practitioner,” Minnesota CLE, 2022 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 23, 2022
  • “One-Size-Fits-None: Practical Tips For National Employers On Developing And Enforcing A National Non-Compete Program,” ALFA International Client Seminar, March 3-6, 2022
  • “Labor & Employment Lessons Learned from the Pandemic,” ALFA International Labor & Employment Seminar, February 2-4 2022
  • “Legal Ethics and the New Sysdyne Defense in Restrictive Covenant Litigation – How the New Employer’s ‘Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card’ Can Land Lawyers in Hot Water,” Minnesota CLE, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 24, 2021
  • “Enforceable Non-Competes Her and Afar – Concrete Guidance in Light of New Laws,” Minnesota CLE, 2021 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, September 15, 2020
  • “How to Create Enforceable and Effective Restrictive Covenants,” Minnesota CLE, October 7, 2019
  • “Is that Facebook Recruitment Ad Discriminatory? Employers Facing Age Discrimination Class Actions,” ALFA Labor & Employment Seminar, June 13, 2019
  • “Complex Restrictive Covenant Topics for the Advanced Practitioner,” Minnesota CLE, 2019 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 20, 2019
  • “Keeping Home Court Advantage…Away from California,” ALFA International Client Seminar, February 28, 2019
  • “Protecting the Home Field:  Creating and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants – Sophisticated Strategies for Multi-State Employers,” ALFA International L&E and Professional Liability Practice Groups, June 14, 2018
  • “Creating and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants – A Deep Dive for Multi-State Employers,” Minnesota CLE, 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 21, 2018
  • “Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants: Protecting Assets and Litigating Disputes,” Minnesota CLE, February 20, 2018
  • “Trying the Non-Compete Case: Lessons from the Trenches,” Dorsey Labor and Employment 2017 Conference, April 27, 2017
  • “The Force Awakens: E-Discovery in the L&E World,” Dorsey Labor and Employment 2016 Conference, March 3, 2016
  • “Brave New World: Managing Social Media,” Webinar discussion, June 17, 2015
  • “Wage and Hour Laws: California,” Webinar discussion, April 16, 2015
  • “Ring Around the White Collar: Exemptions, Misclassification, Independent Contractors and Overtime Calculation,” Dorsey Labor and Employment 2015 Conference, February 5, 2015
  • “Mishandling Handbooks: Employers’ Biggest Mistakes in Drafting Employment Handbooks,” Webinar discussion, August 14, 2014
  • “Write it Right! The Keys To Avoiding Your Document Being ‘Exhibit No. 1’,” Webinar discussion, March 20, 2014
  • “Federal District of Minnesota Civil Practice Deskbook – Seminar 1: From Pre-Filing Considerations Through Discovery,” Minnesota CLE Seminar, February 25, 2014
  • “ADA Reasonable Accommodation and the Interactive Process,” Minnesota CLE Seminar, December 5, 2013
  • “Do as We Say, Not as They Did: More FMLA Lessons from Real Cases,” Webinar discussion, November 6, 2013
  • “Minnesota Law Update,” Dorsey Employment Law Seminar, September 2013
  • “Employment Law Institute: Winning ADA Litigation Strategies,” Webinar discussion, July 17, 2013
  • “Do as We Say, Not as They Did: FMLA Lessons from Real Cases,” Webinar discussion, April 25, 2012
  • “Perfect Attendance and Automatic Termination Policies: The Perfect Storm for Automatic Litigation,” Webinar discussion, February 16, 2012
  • “Labor Law 2011 Year in Review,” Dorsey & Whitney L&E Department Breakfast Briefing, December 8, 2011
  • “Same Sex Unions and Employment and Benefits Laws,” Hennepin County Bar Association, November 1, 2011

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Restaurant Association

Community Engagement

  • Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Cases and Interventions Committee
  • Girl Scouts River Valleys, Former Board Member
  • Yinghua Academy, Former Board Member

MRA Proud Allied Member

Scroll to the top of the web page anchor link.