JoLynn M. Markison

JoLynn M. Markison

[email protected]



Jo is a partner in Dorsey’s Labor & Employment Group. Jo represents large and small corporations in employment litigation involving race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, and age retaliation and discrimination; sexual harassment; and wage and hour claims. Jo frequently represents employers and employees in claims involving enforcement of post-employment restrictive covenants (non-competition, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation), as well as tort disputes such as breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, and defamation claims.

In addition to litigation, Jo counsels corporations on employment-related issues, including discipline and discharge decisions and policy creation and implementation. Jo also assists employers in investigating and responding to internal complaints based on allegations of discrimination and harassment.

Jo also has extensive appellate experience. She has represented employers and pro bono clients before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Education & Admissions

William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., 2006), summa cum laude, Cali Award of Excellence- Alternative Dispute Resolution and Constitutional Law Liberties; William Mitchell Law Review, Staff Member 2004-05, Executive Editor 2005-06

College of St. Benedict (B.A., Psychology, Minor in French, 2000), magna cum laude


  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Sixth and Eighth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota


Representative Litigation

  • Represented non-profit organization in lawsuit filed by current employee alleging age, gender, and race discrimination under the MDAA and MHRA, breach of contract, defamation, tortious interference, fraud, and negligent infliction of emotional distress; obtained Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of all claims;
  • Counseled pharmacy benefit management company in terminating high-level officer and employee; successfully negotiated stipulation for injunctive relief; obtained summary judgment dismissing employee’s whistleblower, retaliation, wrongful discharge, defamation, and breach of contract claims; successfully negotiated settlement agreement.
  • Represented pharmacy benefit management company in lawsuit by former employee alleging violations of Minnesota’s wage and hour laws and defamation; successfully negotiated settlement agreement.
  • Represented leading global pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and medical device outsourcing company in litigation against former employee and competitor for breach of noncompetition agreement and tortious interference with contract, resulting in enforcement of noncompetition agreement and monetary payment to company.
  • Represented leading medical device company in numerous litigation matters involving enforcement of non-solicitation, noncompetition, and separation agreements.

News & Resources


Title VII Prohibits Workplace Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Transgender Status
LGBTQ Covered under Title VII, Says Supreme Court
Supreme Court Grants Review of Three Title VII Cases Concerning Protections for LGBTQ Workers
How Important are Irreparable Injury Provisions in Non-Compete Agreements?
Words on the Page: How Important are Irreparable Injury Provisions in Non-Compete Agreements?
Seventh Circuit Rules that Company’s Distributor Is Not its Competitor
New Eighth Circuit Opinion Likely to Increase Summary Judgments in Noncompete Litigation
Minnesota Supreme Court clarifies requirements for state whistleblower lawsuits
Federal Appeals Court Takes a Stand, Holding that Title VII Prohibits Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation
Trump Administration’s Position on Transgender Rights Not Likely To Impact Employers
EEOC Releases Updated Retaliation Guidance
“The Evolving World of Employee Leave - How some states are filling in the gaps left by the FMLA,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota
NLRB Report Concludes that Many Common Handbook Policies Violate NLRA
E-Discovery Under the Minnesota Rules: Where We’ve Been, Where We Might Be Headed

News & Press Mentions

Minnesota Supreme Court Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers for 2019 Pro Bono Service
Dorsey Receives NLADA 2020 Beacon of Justice Award for Pro Bono Work
Dorsey Partner JoLynn Markison Discusses SCOTUS Ruling on LGBTQ Rights
Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 17 Dorsey Lawyers
Dorsey Partner JoLynn Markison Comments on Employers are Failing Transgender Employees
Dorsey Partner JoLynn Markison Discusses Courts Can Hear Discrimination Claims Without EEOC
Dorsey Partner JoLynn Markison Discusses Federal LGBT Protections
Breaking the Ice: Employment Specialty Combines Psychology, Law
Dorsey Partner JoLynn Markison Comments on Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court Ruling
JoLynn Markison Selected for Leadership Council on Legal Diversity 2018 Fellows Program
Dorsey Partner JoLynn Markison Comments on Supreme Court Denying LGBT Hearing
Dorsey Partner JoLynn Markison Comments on LGBTQ Discrimination Ruling
Dorsey & Whitney Names New Partners
Minnesota Transgender Surgery Ban Found Unconstitutional
Super Lawyers Recognizes 37 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Dorsey Associates JoLynn Markison and Nadege Souvenir named “2015 Up & Coming Attorneys” by Minnesota Lawyer
Dorsey Represents Canon in Trade Secrets and Employee Stealing Suit

Legal Writings

  • Initiating Appeals from District Court Decisions, (co-author) Eighth Circuit Appellate Practice Manual, Minnesota CLE (5th ed. 2010).
  • Note: Minnesota’s Proposed Same-Sex Marriage Amendment: A Flamingly Unconstitutional Violation of Full Faith and Credit, Due Process, and Equal Protection, 31 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1649 (2005).

Select Presentations

  • “Breach of Employment Contract Litigation: Contract Interpretation, Materiality of Breach, Defenses, Damages,” Stafford Webinar, November 21, 2017
  • “Newest Agency and Court Positions on the Scope of Title VII Protections for LGBT Individuals,” Labor & Employment Law Institute/MN CLE Center, November 16, 2017
  • “Risk Management and Ethics for In-House Counsel,” Dorsey Seminar, September 25, 2017
  • "2016 Update on Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secrets and More: What Your Company Needs to Know to Protect its Employees and Confidential Information," August 18, 2016
  • "The Evolving World of Employee Leave: How States and Cities are Filling the Gaps Left by the FMLA," MinnCLE webinar, July 8, 2016
  • "Lessons from Recent Non-Compete Cases," Dorsey & Whitney Labor & Employment Group Webinar CLE, June 28, 2016

Industries & Practices

  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Healthcare
  • Labor & Employment

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Minnesota Lavender Bar Association
  • National Lesbian and Gay Law Foundation


  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2021
  • Selected for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows Program, 2018
  • Listed as a "Rising Star" by Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2016
  • Named 2015 Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer

North Star Lawyer logo

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2014-2016 and 2018-2019
  • Recipient of the 2013 Child Advocacy Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Minnesota Chapter, for pro bono work related to newborn screening
JoLynn M. Markison