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NJL People: Joel Andersen

Joel represents clients on all types of employment claims before administrative agencies, in state and federal courts, and before arbitration tribunals. He handles both individual and class litigation throughout the country, with extensive experience litigating in California. Joel’s business-driven guidance helps employers through the full life-cycle of hiring, from recruiting and performance management to workplace investigations and post-employment restrictive covenants. He also counsels clients on complying with discipline and discharge, workplace leave, and employment and severance agreement issues.

Joel offers practical, business-driven advice to corporate clients and human resources professionals, helping them navigate the ever-changing and complex landscape of local, state, and federal employment laws. He provides proactive compliance strategies distinctively suited to each client’s industry, size, and locale, keeping in mind that every client – from an entrepreneurial start-up to an established global organization – deserves unique attention. He prides himself on offering efficient, results-oriented litigation focused on his clients’ ultimate business goals.

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

Restrictive Covenant Litigation

  • Boston Scientific v. Shockwave Medical (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – Defeated motion for temporary restraining order in medical device industry case involving field clinical specialist employees.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 vacation 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

  • “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

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