John F. Kuenstler

John Kuenstler Employment Attorney Barnes & Thornburg
Organization Profile
Professional Biography

John dedicates his practice exclusively to the representation of employers in labor and employment and business matters. He counsels and represents a diverse client base on a national and regional basis in virtually all aspects of labor and employment law.

John’s experience includes the defense of single- and multi-plaintiff, collective and class action litigation pertaining to wrongful discharge, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, Section 1981, FMLA, FLSA, ERISA, USERRA, WARN and OSHA claims before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. He routinely advocates management’s interests in workplace tort, breach of contract, non-compete, non-solicitation and other restrictive covenant cases. John is skilled in various forms of alternative dispute resolution, helping clients avoid the costs of prolonged legal disputes.

In addition to his litigation practice, John also represents clients at all levels of administrative proceedings, including matters before the EEOC, NLRB, OSHA and DOL. For clients with organized workforces or those striving to remain union-free, John acts as the lead company negotiator for collective bargaining, defends employers in union grievance hearings and arbitrations, helps craft union avoidance campaigns, and provides legal counsel on the range of issues that can arise under the NLRA.

John has ably guided employers through workforce reorganizations, reductions in force, mass layoffs, plant closings, wage and hour investigations, and whistleblower claims, avoiding litigation through proactive responses and creative business strategies. He provides counseling on matters such as employment practice audits, effective human resources strategies and reviewing and drafting employment policies, social media policies, handbooks, employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, employee leasing agreements and severance agreements. To assist in the effective implementation of best practices policies, John provides training and seminars to managers on all matters that impact the employment relationship.

  • Latest Legal and Business Bylines From John F. Kuenstler

Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor and Employment Practice Group has been named a Go-To Thought Leader in the field of employment law by the National Law Review. Throughout the year, Barnes’ Employment Group has tirelessly covered the changing landscape of US labor law as it pertains to the coronavirus pandemic, publishing articles on topics such as OSHA Vaccine-or-Test Mandate, California COVID Paid Sick Leave, and Minnesota Frontline Worker Bonuses. Contributing authors include (but are not limited to): John F. Kuenstler, Timothy Y. Wong, and Kenneth J. Yerkes.


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