Joel O’Malley

Shareholder

With more than 13 years as a litigator, 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 and Industry Experience
  • Representative Matters
  • Recognitions and Honors
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Community Involvement

Key Practice Experience

  • Wage-and-hour litigation, including class and collective actions
  • Restrictive covenants/noncompetes
  • General employment counseling
  • Compliance strategery
  • Recruiting
  • Executive agreements
  • Performance management
  • Workplace investigations
  • Wrongful termination

Clerkships

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2013, 2014 and 2016

Publications and Presentations

Select Publications

  • 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

  • “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

Community Engagement

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