Rebecca J. Bernhard

Rebecca J. 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.

Rebecca is 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.
  • 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


What Employers Need to Know About the New H-1B Cap Lottery Process
Litigation may be Key in Response to Rising Denials of Employment-Based Visas. What Strategies Should Employers Consider when Hiring or Retaining Noncitizen Professionals?
NLRB Adopts “Contract Coverage” Standard to Apply to an Employer’s Unilateral Changes to Terms and Conditions of Employment
STEM OPT Site Visits
Chemical Industry Update - July/August 2019
Chemical Industry Update - June 2019
Employers Beware: Recent Developments in Employee No-Poaching Agreements
Balancing Employer Obligations to Verify Employee Information
Employers Who File EEO-1 Reports Must Provide Pay Data to EEOC by September 30
What to do with “No Match” Letters, Minnesota Milk Minute
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

News & Press Mentions

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
“Changes to Legal Immigration Policies,” GC Agenda Column in Practical Law, The Journal, Transactions & Business
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

Events & Speaking Engagements

Labor and Employment 2019 Symposium - Materials
Seminar Playback: Pay Equity: Navigating the New Landscape
Labor and Employment 2018 Symposium - Materials
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
“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
“Application of Employment Law to Member-Worker Cooperatives,” NBCA’s Annual Impact Conference

Industries & Practices

Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Benefits & Compensation
  • 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©, 2019-2020
  • Minnesota Attorney at Law, Attorney of the Month, March 2018
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2014-2018
  • 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