John Kloosterman advises and defends a wide range of employers, from start-up companies to multi-national corporations.  He counsels employers on every aspect of the employment relationship from hiring to dismissal and all areas in between.  His practice emphasizes international labor and employment issues, international labor standards, labor-management relations and complex litigation, including arbitration.

He has extensive courtroom experience and represents clients in all aspects of litigation before state and federal 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 wage-hour issues, discrimination and corporate restructuring. He is experienced in international litigation, including international discovery issues. He has also argued before state and federal appellate courts.

John is an acknowledged expert on international labor standards, with experience in negotiating and drafting international labor standards, and advising on compliance issues. He is a member of the U. S. delegation to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations agency responsible for overseeing international labor standards. 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 ILO expert on forced labor and human trafficking. Since 2012, John has been the Employer Spokesperson for ILO’s Tripartite Consultations on the Application of International Labour Standards.

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.

He has substantial experience with Canadian labor and employment laws in each province and the federal jurisdiction.  He counsels US-based companies on their Canadian operations and Canadian-based companies on their US operations.

John represents clients with regard to non-compete and trade secret issues and is experienced in the labor and employment law aspects of corporate transactions.

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 several 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, international discovery issues, Canadian employment law, arbitration and employment practice audits

John has lectured on employment and labor law topics 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, and participated in the Executive Management Program at the Kellogg School of Management.

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


International Bar Association


Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers


Bar Association of San Francisco


Alameda County Bar Association


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

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

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

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

Employment Law Issues In Global Restructurings

Global Employer Institute, Washington, DC

October 24, 2008


  • 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, D.C. 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
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin