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In-House Counsel: Kristyn M. Anderson

As general counsel for Minnesota’s Department of Management and Budget, Kristyn Anderson must wear many hats. In addition to serving as that agency’s general counsel, she gives employment law advice to all the executive branch agencies, and she also acts as the state ethics officer.
“There’s a huge variety of things that come across my desk, from interpreting bills affecting debt management to helping agencies through difficult ADA or FMLA issues,” said Anderson, who worked in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office for more than 13 years prior to taking on her current role.
“Our agency sets statewide policy on employment matters such as sexual harassment prevention.”
One high-profile matter to cross Anderson’s desk was a challenge against Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of the biennial appropriations for the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. After a long legal battle, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that the veto was constitutional.
A recent area of emphasis for Anderson has been the prevention of sexual harassment in state agencies. At the direction of Dayton, Anderson led the legal aspects of a mission to comprehensively review and report on sexual harassment prevention activities within the state executive branch, something that had never been done before. Among other changes, the review led to sexual harassment prevention training for more than 5,000 state agency managers, supervisors and human resources staff, and a mandate that state agency employees must renew their knowledge of the sexual harassment prevention policy every year.
“Our team really dug into what was working and what wasn’t,” Anderson said. “Especially considering the climate of the #MeToo movement, it was a very gratifying project to work on.”

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