Veena A. Iyer

Shareholder

Veena is a passionate and loyal client advocate. Her strength lies in knowing her client’s business as well as any long-term employee, able to anticipate problems before they arise. She also excels at helping clients comply with the law or deal with legal issues without having to sacrifice the business’ or organization’s mission or goals. Veena strives to bring value to her clients by finding creative solutions to legal problems and being proactive.

When she’s not counseling employers, you can find Veena with her husband and kids immersing themselves in the Twin Cities, going to hear music at the History Center in the summer, exploring the Winter Carnival, or attempting to create a concoction that will win a blue ribbon at the State Fair.

  • Key Practice and Industry Experience
  • Representative Matters
  • Recognitions and Honors
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Community Involvement

Representative Matters

  • Representing employers in EEOC proceedings alleging class claims of discrimination based on age, denial of religious accommodations, and conduct of criminal background checks.
  • Negotiated favorable settlements in putative class actions involving claims of failure to provide religious accommodations under Title VII, public-benefits discrimination under Minnesota law, and wrongful use of credit reports under the FCRA.
  • Second-chaired trial in Weber v. Minnesota School of Business and represented MSB on appeal.
  • Successfully defended charges of discrimination and unfair labor practices before the EEOC, NLRB, and state and local administrative agencies.
  • Successfully negotiated early settlements with regard to demands and charges alleging violations of federal and state employment laws.
  • Successfully obtained TRO in favor of nonprofit client in trade name dispute.

Recognitions and Honors

  • Lawyers of Color Inaugural Midwest Hot List, 2013
  • Listed in Minnesota Rising Stars, 2015
  • Law Clerk to The Honorable Natalie E. Hudson, Minnesota Court of Appeals (2010-2011)
  • Law Clerk to The Honorable Susan N. Burke, Hennepin County District Court (2009-2010)
  • Equal Justice Works Fellow and Staff Attorney, Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (2006-2009)
  • Law Clerk to The Honorable Matthew F. Kennelly, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (2005-2006)

Publications and Presentations

  • “Employment Law in a New Administration: Federal Actions, Local Reactions,” Minnesota Continuing Legal Education 2017 Nonprofit Law Conference, March 14, 2017
  • “Public Affairs Series: Contribution & Collaboration: A Conversation Centered on Immigration,” Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, April 26, 2016
  • “UBIT Issues for Associations, Tax Hot Topics, Contracts and Employment Law,” Midwest Society of Association Executives, February 17, 2016
  • “Ethics: Protecting Client Confidences During (and After) Investigations,” 2015 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute (with Sejal D. Winkelman)
  • “Managing Privilege During (and After) the Investigation,” Internal Employee Investigations Handbook, May 2015
  • “Communicable Diseases: What’s an Employer to Do?”, The Corporate Counselor (May 2015) (co-authored with Elizabeth Winchell and Sarah Riskin)
  • Your Legal Flu Shot: Tips for Handling Outbreak Concerns in the Workplace (April 2015)
  • “An Employment Law Check Up,” 2015 Nonprofit Law Conference, Minnesota CLE (March 16, 2015)
  • “What to Do? Some Questions and Answers About Measles at Work,” Associated Press (February 4, 2015) (quoted with regard to employer rights and obligations)
  • “Can Your Boss Make You Get Vaccinated?” Wall Street Journal (February 4, 2015) (quoted with regard to employer rights and obligations)
  • 2015 Employment Law Updates, Minnesota Council on Nonprofits Human Resources Networking Lunch (February 2015)
  • “Insights: The Abercrombie & Fitch employee religious accommodation case,” Chain Store Age website (Nov. 25, 2014)
  • “The legal issues in the Ebola spread,” Minnesota Lawyer (Nov. 3, 2014) (quoted with Elizabeth Winchell)
  • “What Employers Can Learn From the Abercrombie Religious Discrimination Case,” available at ere.net and careerbuilder.com (Oct. 14, 2014)
  • “Business Forum: Addressing Violence Among Workers,” Minneapolis Star Tribune (Oct. 5, 2014).
  • “Unpaid Interns: Worth the Risk?” Focus (A Publication of the Midwest Society of Association Executives) (June 2014)
  • “Women’s Economic Security Act Expands Employer Obligations,” Minnesota Council of Nonprofits website and publications (May 2014)
  • “Business Forum: For Nonprofits, Helping Hands Turn Costly,”Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Dec. 1, 2013)
  • Quoted in “Pitfalls of Employee Volunteerism and How to Avoid Them,” Society for Human Resources Management website (Sept. 13, 2013)
  • “Managing Volunteers: Maximizing Resources While Minimizing Liability,” Focus (A Publication of the Midwest Society of Association Executives) (June 2013)
  • “Minnesota Adopts Ban-the-Box Legislation,” Minnesota Council of Nonprofits website and publications (May 2013)
  • “Liability Waivers,” Minnesota Council of Nonprofits website and publications (May 2013) (with Ben Johnson)
  • “Business Forum: Ban-the-Box Bill Advances in the Minnesota Senate,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune(May 5, 2013) (with Joe Schmitt)
  • “Intimate Partner Violence at Work,” Westlaw Emp’t J. (April 3, 2013)
  • “Criminal Background Checks: Preventing or Creating Liability?”  The Corporate Counselor  (Sept. 2012)

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the 2014 national association’s affiliate of the year
    • Immediate Past President (2014 – 2015)
    • President (2013 – 2014)
    • President-Elect (2012 – 2013)
    • Secretary (2011 – 2012)
    • Member (2009 – present)
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
    • Board Member (2015 – present)
    • Foundation Board Member (2014 – 2015)
    • Foundation Task Force Member (2012 – 2014)
    • Nominations Committee Member (2013)
    • Community Action Committee Co-Chair (2011 – 2014)
    • Member (2010 – 2011; 2014 – present)
  • Twin Cities Diversity in Practice
    • Junior Lawyers Committee (2012 – present)
  • Harvard Law School Twin Cities Alumni Association
    • Advisory Board Member (2010 – present)

Community Engagement

  • Minnesota Urban Debate League, Advisory Board Member (2010 – present)
  • Portico Healthnet, Board member (2016 – present)