Skip Navigation or Skip to Content


Why NJL?

We have deep expertise in the restaurant industry, particularly in Minnesota and California. With years of combined experience, we have relationships with many of the local restaurants and industry leaders. And with offices in Minnesota and California, our attorneys are well-versed in state and local laws.

  • Restaurant leaders recommend us. Our list of representative clients speaks for itself.
  • We know employment law. Our labor and employment group has a long history of successful representation of major, national employers in employment, labor, and employee benefits litigation and administrative agency cases.
  • We especially know how employment law affects restaurants. Whether it’s how restaurants compensate and schedule their employees, charge their guests, or ensure an inclusive and productive workplace, NJL knows the special challenges restaurants face in complying with complex employment laws.
  • We’re proactive. We place prime importance on our partnerships with clients. That’s why we strive to find issues before they become expensive lawsuits. We’re always on the lookout for new and changing laws and the ways in which they impact our clients.
  • We’re cost-effective. We provide top-notch expertise to clients at a Midwestern value. Our attorneys have been quoting alternative-fee-arrangements long before they became popular, and we’re especially skilled at creating solid budgets and exceeding expectations.

Industry Expertise

Compliance with Minnesota’s unique tip-pooling laws and other key industry requirements. We have counseled top restaurants in designing tip-pooling policies, and we’ve successfully defended restaurants in these cases for years. We can advise national restaurants and franchises on federal law, Minnesota’s unique statute, and other outlier states such as California and New York.

Safe and sick leave compliance. More than 30 states and locales have adopted laws requiring employers to provide sick and/or safe leave to employees. To develop a nationwide policy, employers must assess each law’s requirements while carving out jurisdiction-specific provisions. We help employers closely track developments in this fast-moving area to ensure their sick leave policies are compliant.

Predictive scheduling. Some states and locales require restaurants to comply with “predictive scheduling” or “fair workweek” laws. These laws require employers to provide employees advance copies of work schedules and prohibit employers from forcing unscheduled employees to report to work. Late schedule changes can result in additional compensation. We help restaurants review scheduling policies and practices to minimize liability.

Minimum wage, tip credit, credit card fee credits, and service charges. State laws differ dramatically on a number of basic payroll issues uniquely affecting restaurants. Differing federal and state laws govern minimum wages, tip credits, application of credit card fees to tips, and service charges. NJL’s team helps restaurants ensure that how they charge customers for services and how they compensate employees complies with the law regardless of location.

Defending restaurants against class-based and individual employment discrimination lawsuits. These matters include numerous national class discrimination investigations, several “metoo” harassment lawsuits, and various other discrimination class claims. We have resolved nationwide class investigations and charges without any payment of money to the EEOC; won EEOC class claims at summary judgment; and persuaded the EEOC to abandon class claims upon a finding of no probable cause.

Preventing no-poaching claims. Franchise restaurants are increasingly under attack for using “no-poach” agreements that prohibit franchisees from recruiting and hiring employees from other franchisees. We are experienced non-compete litigators and advisors and routinely help companies avoid liability in this area.

Anti-harassment training. NJL draws upon recent scholarship and the most effective tools to customize anti-harassment training directed to restaurant leaders, supervisors, and staff, tailored to shift each workplace’s particular culture. This live, interactive training meets applicable state law requirements. Our diverse and bilingual (Spanish) team of lawyer-trainers have themselves worked in unionized workforces, social work, nonprofit organizations, and restaurant settings.

Scroll to the top of the web page anchor link.