Rebecca Bernhard

Rebecca Bernhard




Rebecca's experience spans traditional labor and employment counsel, immigration, and federal contract compliance and audits, including affirmative action plans and audits. She supports clients with their corporate transactions, advising on labor and employment diligence, negotiating with new unions and conducting effects bargaining, 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 and financial institutions 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 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.

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 Experience

  • Counsels clients with unionized-workplaces in collective bargaining and grievance resolution.
  • Works with federal contractors to ensure compliance with their obligations under affirmative action and prevailing wage laws.
  • 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


Which Provisions of California’s So-Called ‘Sanctuary State’ Legislation Affecting Employers are Currently in Effect?
Cap-Subject H-1B Visa Petitions to be filed on April 2, 2018
Cap-Subject H-1B Visa Petitions to be filed on April 2, 2018
How to Get Yourself Fired for a Facebook Post
Trump Administration Suspends Rule to Require Employers to Report Payroll Data to Government
Second Circuit Holds Pro-Union Sentiment Outweighs Impropriety of Profanity-Laden Rant Against Supervisor, His Mother, and “His Entire ****ing Family”
Will That Sandwich Make You Sick? – 8th Circuit Holds NLRA Does Not Protect Disparaging Statements By Jimmy John’s Employees
Supreme Court allows limited version of President Trump’s travel ban
USA Today: Readers react to President Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order
Stop The Tolling: Minnesota Supreme Court Rules That an Employee’s Internal Complaint Tolls the Statute of Limitations under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA)
Practitioner Insights: Prescription Opioids in Workplaces and on Job Sites
Trump Administration’s Position on Transgender Rights Not Likely To Impact Employers
Travel Alert
New Form I-9 for all U.S. Employers
Avoiding the Risk of Criminal Prosecution for HR Professionals: A Deeper Dive on the DOJ/FTC’s Antitrust Guidance
EEOC Updates Its National Origin Discrimination Guidance
Court Halts DOL Rule Set To Extend Overtime To Millions on December 1
The MWL Leadership Project- Well Worth Your Time
DOJ and FTC Issue Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals
EEOC Releases Final Reporting Form for Compensation Data
It’s Final: The DOL Issues Final Rule Providing Paid Sick Leave For Employees of Federal Contractors
EEOC Releases Updated Retaliation Guidance
Ninth Circuit Holds that Employees’ Waiver of All Forums for Class or Collective Action Violates NLRA
New Immigration Rule to Welcome Start-Up Foreign Entrepreneurs
EEOC Revises Plan Aimed to Identify Unequal Pay

News & Press Mentions

Dorsey & Whitney Receives LCLD 2018 Legal Compass Award
Dorsey Receives Mansfield Rule Certification Plus
54 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019 and 2019 Lawyers of the Year
Dorsey Again Earns Gold Standard Certification from Women in Law Empowerment Forum
Minnesota Attorney at Law: Rebecca Bernhard Attorney of the Month
"Why should Diversity and Inclusion Leaders Listen to #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo?" Minnesota Lawyer
Dorsey Again Earns Gold Standard Certification from Women in Law Empowerment Forum
Dorsey to Pilot “Mansfield Rule” to Boost Diversity
Dorsey Partners Rebecca Bernhard and Ryan Mick Discuss Trump's Legal Shadow on L&E Laws
Dorsey Partner Rebecca Bernhard Discusses HB1 Visa Policy Change
Dorsey Names Partner Rebecca Bernhard as New Firm-wide Diversity Co-Chair
Dorsey & Whitney Names New Partners
Dorsey Of Counsel Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Employee Non-Compete Agreements
Dorsey Of Counsel Rebecca Bernhard Comments on Employers and Zika Concerns
Dorsey Of Counsel Rebecca Bernhard Discusses EEO-1 Reports
Dorsey Of Counsel Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Gig Workers
Dorsey Hosts Project 5/165 Executive Leadership Development Workshop for In-House Counsel
Dorsey Of Counsel Rebecca Bernhard Comments on Union's Joint Employer Invitation
Dorsey Attorney Rebecca Bernhard Comments on NLRB Ruling on Contractors' Labor Policies
Dorsey Attorney Rebecca Bernhard Comments on NLRB Ruling on Contractors' Labor Policies
Dorsey Of Counsel Rebecca Bernhard Discusses Supporting Immigrants for a Stronger Workforce
Veteran Labor & Employment Lawyer Rebecca Bernhard Joins Dorsey

Events & Speaking Engagements

Seminar Playback: Annual Construction Symposium: Managing the Construction Workforce in 2018
Workplace equity: Minnesota Nice or Minnesota Ice?
“OSHA Recordkeeping and Documentation: How to Stay in Compliance,” National Business Institute, broadcast
“The Mobile Workforce: Is Your Company on the Road to Compliance?” Minnesota Society of CPAs
“Application of Employment Law to Member-Worker Cooperatives,” NBCA’s Annual Impact Conference
“Not Your Grandfather’s Workplace: Today’s Trends and Tomorrow’s Challenges in Employment Law & Practices,”
“Let’s Handle Those Difficult Situations: How do you deal with crisis?” CLBA Annual Leadership Forum
“To Plan or Not to Plan: Practical Tips on Structuring Severance Arrangements,” Dorsey Annual Forum on Employer Sponsored Benefits
“Intersection Between EB Immigration and Employment Law,” Upper Midwest Immigration Law Conference
"Successfully Engaging Leaders in Your Diversity and Inclusion Program," Dorsey Labor and Employment Seminar

Industries & Practices

Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Cooperative Law
  • Development & Infrastructure
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • Healthcare
  • Immigration
  • Labor & Employment
  • Mergers & Acquisitions

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section Council Member, 2015 - present
  • 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


North Star Lawyer logo   

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2019
  • Minnesota Attorney at Law, Attorney of the Month, March 2018
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2014-2017
  • 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 Bernhard