Joel W. Rice: Lawyer with Fisher & Phillips LLP

Joel W. Rice

Chicago,  IL  U.S.A.
Phone(312) 580-7810

Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

Client Rating

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Practice Areas

  • Labor and Employment
  • Civil Rights
  • Complex Litigation
  • Discrimination
  • Employment-Related Litigation
  • Federal Appellate Practice
  • Non-Competition and Trade Secrets Agreements
  • Prevention and Compliance Programs
  • Severance and Separation Agreements
  • Wage and Hour Law
University Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, 1979
Law SchoolUniversity of Chicago Law School, Chicago, IL, J.D., 1983
Admitted1983, Illinois; 1986, Ohio; U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Professional Activities

Joel is a member of the Chicago and American Bar Associations. Joel has authored numerous articles for the Defense Research Institute, ABA publications and for various print and electronic Human Resources publications. He is a Chapter author for the Thomson-Reuters series Inside the Minds: Strategies for Appellate Litigation. Joel is active in the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and has given numerous presentations for the Chamber as well as other business groups on a wide range of employment-related issues.

Joel has also given interviews on a variety of employment-related issues for media outlets ranging from the National Law Journal, New York Times Online, Chicago Tribune, CNN Money,, Workforce Management, Employee Benefits News, Human Resources Executive, Inside Counsel, Human Resources Magazine, and SHRM Online.


Joel Rice is a partner in the Chicago office, with nearly 25 years of experience representing employers. Over the course of his career, Joel has handled the defense of hundreds of employment-related matters before federal/state courts and numerous agencies.

Joel has successfully argued multiple appeals in federal and state courts. He has extensive experience representing employers in complex litigation, including collective and class actions under federal and state wage and hour laws.

Joel has also obtained injunctive relief for employers enforcing restrictive covenant agreements in multiple jurisdictions.

In addition, Joel counsels employers on all facets of employment law, including leave issues, harassment claims, and pay practices. Joel has assisted employers in successfully navigating wage and hour investigations brought by federal and state Departments of Labor. Joel is “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Joel was credited as an author on an E-Discovery Chapter in Data: Law and Litigation. The book provides an overview of legal issues associated with employment-related electronically stored information, focusing on discovery issues in particular.


Labor Department Proposes Wider Overtime Rule
July 16, 2015

Illinois' Historic New Retirement Savings Law
January 22, 2015

Internship Programs Face Increased Regulatory Scrutiny
May 25, 2010

Ruling Gives Companies a Little More Protection
February 16, 2010

Adult Internships: Be Aware of Wage and Hour Pitfalls
June 1, 2009

Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Faragher/Ellerth Defense Where Employees Claim Constructive Discharge
December 1, 2005

Arbitration of Employment Disputes: Who Pays?
December 1, 2002


FLSA & NLRA Update and Trends
October 1, 2015

Quotes and Soundbites

Chicago Police Officers' Overtime Lawsuit Has Wide Repercussions
September 9, 2015

Overtime Proposed Rule Will Result in 'Hard Choices' for Some Employers
July 20, 2015

Wage and Hour Errors Common at Small Employers
November 19, 2014

Expansion Of Overtime Pay Leads To Added Challenges For HR
March 20, 2014

Are You Entitled To Overtime Pay?
March 14, 2014

New Rules for Noncompetes: What Chicago Businesses Need to Know
January 14, 2014

Lawmakers Unlikely to Address Non-Compete Clauses After Denial
October 24, 2013

Newsletter Articles

Court Clarifies Overtime Damages For Misclassified Employees
November 1, 2010

Making Scents Of The ADA: Accommodating Employees' Sensitivity To Odors In The Workplace
October 1, 2010

Worker (Mis)classification Can Lead To Trouble
February 1, 2010

Reported CasesRepresentative Work: Fisher & Phillips Attorneys Win Jury Trial and Important Appellate Ruling Under Missouri Human Rights Act; Appellate Non-Compete Victory; Appellate Victory in Seventh Circuit; Two Strikes and You're Out - Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Two Pro Se Plaintiff's Lawsuit; Victory for Casino in Wage & Hour Case; Sixth Circuit Upholds Hotel in Ohio Age Discrimination Case; Fisher & Phillips Obtains Another Victory for National Hotel Chain; Seventh Circuit Upholds Trial Court Ruling that Law Firm Partner is an Employer Outside the Protection of Title VII; Class Action Victory; Reported Cases: Vendetti v. Compass Environmental, 559 F.3d 731 (7th Cir. 2009); Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, 394 Ill.App.3d 421, 915 N.E.2d 862 (4th Dist. 2009); Blair v. Nevada Landing Partnership, 369 Ill.App.3d 318, 859 N.E.2d 1188 (2nd Dist. 2006); Allen v. Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., 2006 WL 3513857 (N.D. Ind. 2006); Fischer v. Cingular Wireless, LLC, 446 F.3d 663 (7th Cir. 2006); Gieg v. DRR, Inc., 407 F.3d 1038 (9th Cir. 2005); Solon v. Kaplan, 398 F.3d 629 (7th Cir. 2005); Aylward v. Hyatt Corp., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16218 (N.D. Ill. 2005); Ellis v. Elgin Riverboat, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18971 (N.D. Ill. 2004); Ellis v. Elgin Riverboat, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14714 (N.D. Ill. 2003); LeBlanc v. Great American Insurance Co., 6 F.3d 836 (1st Cir. 1993); Newton v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 14 F.3d 48 (3rd Cir. 1993)

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Illinois Employers Must Offer Retirement Savings Program
Joel W. Rice, February 4, 2015
Illinois has become the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring businesses to offer their employees a retirement savings plan. Signed into law recently by Gov. Pat Quinn, the new law, entitled “Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program,” is intended to encourage more retirement...

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Office Information

Joel W. Rice

10 South Wacker Drive
ChicagoIL 60606


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