Rebecca J. Bernhard

Rebecca J. Bernhard




Rebecca's experience spans traditional labor and employment counseling and business immigration. She supports clients with their corporate transactions, advising on labor and employment diligence, negotiating with unions, and assisting her clients with post-acquisition or post-divestiture integration. Rebecca has particular experience helping food, beverage, and agribusiness companies as well as cooperatives with their employment problems.

Prior to joining the firm, Rebecca served as Senior VP of HR and Associate General Counsel at one of the nation’s largest student loan guarantors. Rebecca also has direct experience in labor relations, including serving as the Director of Labor Relations for a telemarketing company before attending law school, making her an excellent and practical advisor to employers in all aspects of managing unionized employees.

In addition, Rebecca assists clients with their business immigration needs, including securing temporary and permanent US visas, Form I-9 compliance training and audit defense, and merger and acquisition-related counseling. She is a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment topics confronting HR professionals, including legal issues related to talent management, succession planning, and compliance.

Rebecca is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice.

Rebecca is former co-chair of Firmwide Diversity and Inclusion.

Education & Admissions

University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 2003), magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Lead Note & Comment Editor of the Minnesota Law Review

San Francisco State University (B.S.S., Labor Studies, 1997)


  • Minnesota
  • Utah
  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims


Representative Work

  • Counsels clients with unionized-workplaces in collective bargaining and grievance resolution.
  • Conducts respectful workplace and anti-harassment trainings
  • Conducts I-9 company trainings.
  • Secures E1, E2, H-1B, L-1, O and similar employment-based non-immigrant visas and green cards.
  • Negotiates and drafts executive employment agreements.
  • Negotiates and drafts separation agreements.
  • Supports the corporate M&A group on all aspects of the labor and employment diligence process, drafts ancillary documents, plans and implements WARN Act compliance procedures, and assists her clients with post-acquisition or post-divestiture integration matters.
  • Counsels and trains clients on all phases of the employment relationship.

News & Resources


Pay Transparency Laws on the Rise
FY 2024 Cap H-1B Registration Period Is Fast Approaching
What is a Form I-9 and how do I complete it, especially for remote employees?
OSHA Issues COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rule for Healthcare Employers
The Great Reopening: Considerations for Employers as Employees Begin to Travel and Return to the Office
Easing Mask Mandates: Three Recommendations for Employers
Saying Goodbye to Mask Mandates – Practical Tips for Employers
Vaccine Status is a Protected Trait in Montana
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Issues Executive Order Loosening COVID-19 Restrictions Tomorrow (May 7), Revoking Nearly All Restrictions On May 28, and Ending the Mask Mandate (Including Indoors) No Later Than July 1
EEOC Announces Opening of 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 Reports
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz Issues Executive Order Paving the Way for Employees to Return to the Office
President Biden Issues New COVID-19 Travel Ban
Congress Extends the FFCRA’s Payroll-Tax Credit for Employers (but not the Paid-Leave Obligation!)
Latest Minnesota Emergency Executive Order Closes Some Businesses and Extends Work-From-Home Requirements
H-1B Revamp Creates New Complexities For Employers
"Employment Practices Under Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act," The ADA handbook, 2nd Edition
Federal Court Invalidates Portions of the DOL’s FFCRA Rule
OFCCP Requires New Self-ID Form
NLRB Empowers Employers to Discipline Employees for Abusive or Offensive Conduct
As States Reopen, Can Employees Refuse to Return to Work Based on Fear of Exposure to COVID-19?
White House Announces New Immigration Restrictions for H, J, and L Visas
Immigration Stability Amidst Corporate Restructuring: U.S. Immigration Service Announces Clarifications for Multinational Managers and Executives
USCIS Clarifies that in the Event of a Merger, Multinational Executives or Managers Seeking Permanent Residence under the EB-1 Category May Establish the Qualifying Foreign Employer Relationship Through a Successor Entity
UPDATE: Compliance in the Time of COVID-19: Government Defers I-9 Physical Inspection Requirements
DHS Announces New COVID Flexibility for H-2B Nonagricultural Worker Program

News & Press Mentions

Bernhard Discusses Biden Administration's Proposal to Significantly Raise Employment Visa Fees
Bernhard Quoted in Discussion of U.S. Visa Crisis
Dorsey’s Immigration Practice Receives National Ranking from Legal 500
13 Dorsey Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in 2021 The Best Lawyers in America Employment Law Issue
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Easing Mask Mandates
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Remarks on Biden's Immigration Plan
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Comments on H-1B Visas Under Biden
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Comments on H1-B Work Visa Changes
Dorsey Receives Mansfield Rule Certification 3.0 Plus Status for 2020
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses H-1B Visa Suspensions
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Comments on Chinese Student Visas
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Comments on H-2B Workers Visas
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Comments on H-1B Workers Layoffs
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Remarks on H1-B Workers Losing Status
Dorsey Partners Bernhard, Goldstein and Droke Discuss Food Processors COVID-19 Challenges
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Unemployment Benefits Amid COVID-19
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Families First Act
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses the Coronavirus Travel Ban
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Need for Immigrant Workers
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Coronavirus and Employee Travel
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Foreign Business Travel
Dorsey & Whitney Announces New Diversity Hours Policy for Attorneys
Dorsey Earns Gold Standard Certification for Seventh Time from Women in Law Empowerment Forum
Dorsey Receives 100% Rating on Corporate Equality Index for Thirteenth Year
Dorsey & Whitney Receives LCLD 2018 Legal Compass Award

Industries & Practices

  • Benefits & Compensation
  • Cooperative Law
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • Immigration
  • Labor & Employment
  • Mergers & Acquisitions

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section Council Member, 2015  2021
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Minnesota Mother Attorneys Association
  • Veterans Pro Bono Consortium, 2003  present
  • Legal CORPS, 2004  present
  • Episcopal Church of Minnesota, Vice Chancellor, 2012  2018
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Co-Chair, Vice-Chair, and Chair, Women in the Legal Profession Committee, 2008  2011
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Co-Chair, Pro Bono Committee of the Business Law Section, 2009  2011


      Chambers USA 2021      

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2019-2023
  • Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (Immigration), 2021-2022
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America Employment Law Issue, 2021
  • Legal 500 US National Tier 4 Ranking for Immigration Practice, 2021
  • Minnesota Attorney at Law, Attorney of the Month, March 2018

            Contributed 50+ Pro Bono Hours in 2021 Contributed 100+ Pro Bono Hours in 2020

  • Contributed more than 50 Challenge pro bono hours, 2021-2022
  • Contributed more than 100 Challenge pro bono hours, 2020

      Diversity & Inclusion 50+ Hours 2020

  • Contributed more than 50+ Diversity hours, 2020

      North Star Lawyer

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2014-2020
  • Listed in the Minnesota Lawyer as an “Up & Coming Attorney,” 2010
  • Leonard Street and Deinard Award for Outstanding Board Publication in the Minnesota Law Review, 2003
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section: Outstanding Student Achievement Award for Excellence in Employment Law, 2003
Rebecca J. Bernhard