John Bowen has dedicated more than 20 years to representing management exclusively in the areas of labor and employment law and human resource consulting. His practice includes representation of a broad spectrum of employers in a wide range of industries including healthcare, manufacturing, food service, construction, hospitality, retail, textiles, and distribution. 

For unionized employers, John has served as lead negotiator in labor negotiations for employers in the healthcare, construction, manufacturing, distribution, textile processing, and hospitality industries.


He has successfully represented employers in more than 200 labor arbitrations and regularly advises employers with regard to contract administration and compliance. In addition, John developed "Reclaiming Your Management Rights" - a dynamic in-house training program for managers and supervisors to effectively manage a unionized workforce. 

John also works closely with non-unionized employers to develop comprehensive preventive union-avoidance strategies, beginning with establishing and maintaining positive employee relations and employee engagement. In addition, he has worked with dozens of employers in a variety of industries to successfully respond to union organizing campaigns and related litigation before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). John has trained more than 1000 managers and supervisors in effective union avoidance, focusing on what employers can, should, and must do in order to remain union-free. 

A significant portion of John's practice involves working with employers in connection with the labor relations issues that arise during corporate transactions and business restructuring, including mergers, sales and acquisitions, outsourcing, downsizing and mass layoffs, plant shutdowns and business closures. Transactional issues include successorship, contract assumption, accretions, single and joint employers, potential "run-away shops," double-breasting, decision and effects bargaining, and advance notification required under the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and related state notification laws. 

He regularly represents employers before the NLRB in representation (election) cases and unfair labor practice proceedings as well as before state and federal administrative agencies and state and federal court in connection with employment discrimination, employment law compliance, and wage and hour issues. 

John is a co-founder and facilitator of the Twin Cities Labor Relations Roundtable - a business roundtable of management labor relations professionals dedicated to labor-relations issues in both union and non-union environments. In 2009, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Labor Lawyers in the United States by the Labor Relations Institute (LRI). He is a Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment by the Minnesota State Bar Association and a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).


Areas of Practice

Labor Law - John deals with collective bargaining and contract administration, strike planning and preparation, developing union avoidance strategies, labor law compliance, and labor-related due diligence in corporate transactions and restructuring.
Human Resource Consulting - John regularly advises clients with regard to employment discrimination issues, employment law compliance, and preventive employee relations practices.
Management Training - John frequently conducts seminars, workshops, and in-house training programs designed to develop the effective management skills and tools necessary to build positive employee relations for union and non-union employers.


University of Minnesota Law School, 1987 - 1990
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude

- Dean's List
- Journal of Law and Inequality

University of Minnesota, 1982 - 1985
College of St. Thomas, 1980 - 1982

Bar Admissions