John Kloosterman actively practices employment law in both the U.S. and Canada. He advises and defends a wide range of employers, from start-up companies to multi-national corporations, on their operations in both countries. He counsels employers on compliance with every aspect of the employment relationship from hiring to dismissal and all areas in between. His practice in both countries emphasizes complex litigation, including arbitration and class actions, international labor and employment issues, business and human rights, including international labor standards and labor-management relations. He also advises on the labor and employment law aspects of business transactions.

He has extensive courtroom experience and represents clients in all aspects of litigation before federal, state, and provincial courts, before federal, state and provincial administrative agencies and in arbitration proceedings. His litigation experience includes acting as lead counsel in jury trials and in high-profile class actions involving misclassification, other wage-hour issues, and corporate restructuring. He is experienced in international litigation, including international discovery issues. He has also argued before appellate courts.

John is an acknowledged leader on international labor standards, with experience in negotiating and drafting international labor standards, and advising on compliance issues. He has been a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations agency responsible for overseeing international labor standards, since 2010. John currently sits on the ILO’s Committee on the Application of Standards. He was instrumental in negotiating ILO Convention 189, the Domestic Work Convention, and served as the employer member of the drafting committee for that Convention. He also has served as an expert on forced labor and human trafficking issues.

John advises multi-national companies on cross-border legal issues. He advises U.S. based companies on compliance with global legal issues and international companies on compliance with U.S. laws. He also advises on human rights issues that affect business, including supply chain issues, codes of conduct and compliance with self-governance initiatives such as the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines and the UN Guiding Principles.

John also represents clients in all aspects of labor-management relations, including collective bargaining, arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board proceedings.

He is a former trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board (Region 21), where he received a commendation from the agency’s General Counsel. He practiced with a multi-national general practice firm before joining Littler Mendelson.

He has been a contributing editor to publications and treatises, including the Developing Labor Law (BNA) and International Employment and Labor Law (LexisNexis). He has authored articles on, among other things, international labor and employment law, international labor standards, business and human rights, international discovery issues and Canadian employment law.

John has lectured on employment law and human rights issues at numerous universities and law schools. He also taught legal writing at the University of Wisconsin. He regularly speaks at conferences and seminars in Europe, Asia and North America, and discusses employment law issues on local television.

In addition to attending University of Wisconsin Law School and Loyola University Chicago, John attended University College London and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and participated in the Executive Management Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Professional & Community Affiliations


Industrial Relations Council

International Organisation of Employers


Labor Policy and Corporate Social Responsibility Committees

U.S. Council on International Business


Labor and Employment, International, Litigation and Business Law sections

American Bar Association


State Bar of California


Law Society of Upper Canada


Canadian Bar Association


Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers


Chair of the International Law and Practice Section

Bar Association of San Francisco


Appointed, Panel on Forced Labor and Human Trafficking

International Labour Organization


Named, Who's Who of Legal Labour, Employment and Benefits Lawyers

Who's Who Legal - Canada


Named, International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers

Who's Who Legal


Named, Who's Who in American Law


Named, Super Lawyer

Northern California

Super Lawyers


Member, U.S. Delegation

International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland


News, Analysis & Press

Coming Soon: Summer Associates

Daily Journal

May 2, 2017

Handling Human Rights Issues in Tech Supply Chains

Inside Supply Management

February 2, 2017

Human Rights Issues in Tech Supply Chains

Today's General Counsel

December 1, 2016

Union Petition Under US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Highlights Labor Violations in Oil and Sugar Industries in Colombia

ACC Docket

July/August 2016

Labour Pains

Latin Lawyer

October 27, 2015

Global Hiring Poses Hitches for Start-ups

The Recorder

August 14, 2013

The Right to Strike?: The ILO’s Freedom of Association Convention (with Sonia Regenbogen)

Ius Laboris Global Alert

November 2012

Dangerous Work Assignments

Crisis Response Journal

November 24, 2011

Smartphones and Security Issues


November 5, 2010

Speaking Engagements

Second Annual Canada Conference

Toronto, ON

November 1, 2017
Inaugural Canada Conference

Toronto, ON

November 21, 2016

Canadian v. U.S. Employment Law: Six Minutes at a Time

The 2016 Executive Employer® Conference

May 5, 2016
Conducting Lawful Investigations: An Interactive Program for Internal Investigators

Toronto, ON

November 24, 2015
International Business & Human Rights: What the Corporate Legal Department Should Know

October 13, 2015
Investigating Labor Standards – What They Are, What They Aren't and Should International Business Be Seeking To Adhere To Them

December 5, 2013
Wine Flight of Employment Law: Tasting Notes to Keep Your Business Out of Trouble

San Francisco, CA

July 17, 2013

Plenary Session

International Labour Conference, Geneva, Switzerland

June 20, 2013

They’re Not Your Employees, But it’s Still Complicated: New Developments in the Field of Contingent Workers and Independent Contractors

Global Employer Institute

Littler Mendelson, Washington D.C.

November 8, 2012
2012 Northern California Employment Law Update

San Francisco, CA

February 29, 2012

Cross-Border Employment Disputes

Global HR News Conference, Santa Clara, CA

February 1, 2012

21st Century Challenges in Corporate Social Responsibility

University of Texas, Austin, TX

October 10, 2011

Employing People Abroad

Norrbom Vinding, Copenhagen, Denmark

October 5, 2011

Cross-Border Employment Disputes

Colorado SHRM Conference

September 30, 2011

Plenary Session

International Labour Conference, Geneva, Switzerland

June 15, 2011

Cross-Border Employment Disputes

Phoenix, AZ

April 6, 2011

Global Investigations

Washington, DC

October 21, 2010

Social Media: Beyond the Talk

Legal Tech West Coast, Los Angeles, CA

June 24, 2010

Plenary Session

International Labour Conference, Geneva, Switzerland

June 16, 2010

Employing People Abroad

Norrbom Vinding, Copenhagen, Denmark

May 17, 2010

Social Media – Risks and Rewards

ALM Social Media West, San Francisco, CA

April 19, 2010

The Great Digital Communication Migration

The National Employer, Phoenix, AZ

April 7, 2010

Managing the International Workforce

American Lawyer Media CLE Program

February 9, 2010

Jobs In The Green Economy

Global Employer Institute, Washington, DC

September 15, 2009

International Employment Law 101

Northwest Arkansas Employer Conference

May 7, 2009

Employment Law Trends From California

Client Presentation, Vancouver, BC

April 30, 2009
Cross-Border Employment and Labor Law Topics

February 3, 2009

Employment Law Issues In Global Restructurings

Global Employer Institute, Washington, DC

October 24, 2008
John Kloosterman Presents at FMLA Compliance and Solutions Seminar

San Francisco, CA

March 23, 2007


  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School, 1995
  • B.A., Loyola University Chicago, 1991 With Honors

Bar Admission

Ontario, Canada


  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • Court of Appeal for Ontario
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California