Ann Holden Kendell


Office: 515-242-2450

Fax: 515-323-8550



I get into your business. But in a good way.

When I work with clients, I focus on the business as a whole. I want to learn how the business operates and the “real life” concerns. By partnering with clients in this way, I can help sort through the tangle of legal compliance issues and practical concerns to find a solution what works. As an employment lawyer, I help business clients with all workplace issues from hiring to firing, as well as defend employers in front of administrative agencies and in court. Even though I have been a practicing attorney since 1998, I grew up in rural Iowa and that is where my respect for business owners began – from our own farm to the local machine shop.

My Approach

It’s your baby. While I hope you feel that I am as invested in your business as you are, at the end of the day – you make the call. My job is to advise of the risks and options to put your business in the best position. My ego is firmly in check, which creates a safe space for clients to consider and work through all options with me. Clients know I am honest, straight-forward and genuinely looking out for them. One of my strengths is creative problem-solving. Because employment law is so complex, clients often believe that they must use a cookie-cutter approach. However, the solution can often be unique to your needs and your business by thinking outside the box.

More About Me

I have been honored by my peers and clients to be included in Chambers USA® since 2010 as a leading attorney in the area of Labor and Employment in the State of Iowa; in Best Lawyers of America® since 2010 in Labor and Employment Law for the State of Iowa; and in Super Lawyers® as a Top Rated Employment and Labor attorney in Des Moines, Iowa since 2013.

I am a member of the Polk County, Iowa State (Alternative Dispute Resolution and Labor and Employment Sections) and American (Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections) Bar Associations. I am also a member of the Polk County Women Attorneys and served as its President in 2006 after serving on its Board in various capacities since 2000.

In 1995, I received my B.S. degree in history from Iowa State University and my J.D. from Drake University Law School in 1998. After graduation, I clerked for Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Harris until I entered private practice in August of 1999.

My Specialties

  • Discrimination, harassment and retaliation laws
  • Family, medical and other workplace leave issues
  • Workplace accommodation issues
  • Wage and hour laws
  • Employment policies and procedures
  • Non-competes, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements
  • Mediation
  • Workplace training
  • Litigation
  • Private sector employee drug testing
  • Reductions in force
  • Executive compensation agreements
  • Workplace investigations
  • Contract law
  • Administrative law
  • Managing multi-jurisdictional workplace issues
  • Arbitration
  • Labor law

Blog Posts

Waterloo Bans the Box - Other Employers Need to Think Outside It

December 20, 2019 On a final vote on November 4, 2019, the Waterloo City Council narrowly passed a city ordinance intended to help people with criminal histories find Read…

Another Final Rule from the DOL Regarding the FLSA - Effective January 15, 2020

December 20, 2019 Previously, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its Final Rule on September 24, 2019, updating the earnings requirements for exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Read…

Defining Harassment in a New York State of Mind

August 19, 2019 On August 12, 2019, the state of New York officially expanded its protections on unlawful harassment in the workplace. Some of the key changes include Read…

Allergic to Work?

March 24, 2017 According to the Mayo Clinic, allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance or to a food that does not cause a Read…

Representative Cases

Schmit v. Iowa Machine Shed Co.
2006 WL 2872944 (Iowa Ct. App. 2006)
Successfully obtained summary judgment for employer on claim of wrongful termination in violation of public policy.

DeLeon v. Iowa Select Farms, Inc.
699 N.W.2d 684 (Iowa Ct. App. 2005)
Successfully obtained summary judgment for employer on national origin discrimination and workers’ compensation retaliation claims.

Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Case
Tried gender discrimination and retaliation case to jury verdict in favor of employer.

Pregnancy Discrimination and Retaliation Case
Tried pregnancy discrimination and retaliation case to jury verdict in favor of employer.

Non-Solicitation Agreement
Obtained a temporary injunction enforcing a non-solicitation agreement on behalf of an employer against a former employee and was awarded $10,000 in attorney fees.

Breach of Contract / Uniform Commercial Code
Won $97,000 jury verdict for a local business regarding a breach of contract and defeating a counterclaim attacking the quality of the client’s merchandise and raising issues under the Uniform Commercial Code.

Real Estate Transaction
Obtained summary judgment and attorney fees in matter involving specific performance of a real estate transaction.

Commercial Arbitrations on Behalf of Franchisees and Securities Brokers
Several commercial arbitrations on behalf of franchisees and securities brokers, as well as arbitration in front of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in Sweden.

*Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation in which we practice and do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.


Beth Hick



Iowa State University

B.S., History, 1995


Drake University

J.D., 1998


Iowa, 1998

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association 
  • Iowa State Bar Association 
    Member; Sections on: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Labor and Employment Law 
  • American Bar Association 
    Member; Sections on: Labor and Employment Law; Litigation 
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Central Iowa SHRM