Labor & Employee Relations Manager

Human Resources Washington, District Of Columbia




JOB TITLE:  Labor and Employee Relations Manager

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 4

SALARY: $84,000 -$93,000

FLSA: Exempt

DEPARTMENT:  Human Resources

LOCATION:        Washington, DC

REPORTS TO:     Vice President, Human Resources





This position will be responsible for labor relations matters, gathering, collecting, and maintaining documents and records required for contract and policy development, investigations, and negotiations. They will have demonstrated the ability to connect, build bridges and work collaboratively to develop, plan and implement employee relations practices.  The Labor and Employee Relations Manager will handle issues involving bargaining and non-bargaining unit employees. They will also ensure that labor relations matters and activities are conducted in a manner consistent with Defenders’ labor relations and legal strategies; signed collective bargaining agreements, memoranda, and interim agreements; operational and strategic business objectives; and values.

This position will be reporting to the Vice President of Human Resources. They have no direct supervisory responsibilities but do serve as a coach and mentor for other positions in the HR department.


Employee & Labor Relations:

  • Handles routine labor relations and human resource inquiries related to policies, procedures, and bargaining agreements; refers complex matters to appropriate management staff.
  • Manages and serves as the initial contact and liaison for intake and assessment of employee complaints.
  • Collects information and data to assess cost and policy implications of negotiations and disputes. This may include management and union proposals, pay scales and wages, benefits, working conditions, and other mitigating circumstances.
  • Maintains knowledge and understanding of laws and regulations related to EEO, affirmative action, collective bargaining, unions, labor relations, and human resources.
  • Assists with the preparation of plans, policies, documents, and reports including EEO-1, labor agreements, and employee handbooks.
  • Assists with the preparation of documents and records required for contract negotiations, meetings, and negotiations with employee and labor organizations.
  • Ensures compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) once finalized and handles grievances in accordance with the CBA and any interim agreements.
  • Communicates regularly with the VP, Human Resources and HR partners.
  • Supports the Management Bargaining Committee in preparation for bargaining sessions and develops responses to Union Requests for Information for senior management clearance.
  • Counsels Leadership on identifying issues and implementing corrective actions.
  • Attends and participates in employee disciplinary meetings, terminations, and investigations.
  • Maintains in-depth knowledge of employment law, best practices, legal requirements, ensures regulatory compliance and reducing legal risk.
  • Provides HR policy guidance and interpretation and partners with internal and external attorneys as needed/required.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.



Education: Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent

Experience: 6 years of relevant experience; 3 years of conducting Human Resources related investigations in a unionized environment. Working knowledge of employee and labor relations, compensation practices, organizational diagnosis, diversity, performance management, and federal and state respective employment laws.

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for All Defenders


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 4



  1. Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
  2. Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service


  1. Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
  2. Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
  3. Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
  4. Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments
  5. Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders

Critical Thinking

  1. Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
  2. Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
  3. Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.
  4. Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work
  5. Ability to independently exercise appropriate judgment in response to complex and/or fluid environments
  6. Strategic thinker with the ability to take high-level strategy and translate into relatable points and action steps.

Project Management

  1. Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
  2. Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
  3. Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
  4. Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
  5. Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues
  6. Ability to independently initiate project and initiative ideas; managing projects and initiatives through to completion

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Labor and Employee Relations Manager

  1. Ability to independently initiate project and initiative ideas; managing projects and initiatives through to completion.
  2. Ability to act with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality.
  3. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  4. Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills.
  5. Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  6. Ability to comprehend, interpret, and apply the appropriate sections of applicable laws, guidelines, regulations, ordinances, and policies.
  7. Ability to acquire a thorough understanding of the organization’s hierarchy, jobs, qualifications, compensation practices, and the administrative practices related to those factors.
  8. Excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines.
  9. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  10. Knowledge of ADP Workforce Now.
  11. Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software.



Physical Activities

Check all that apply


(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.


Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.


Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.


Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.


Adjusting or moving objects up to 20 pounds in all directions.


Communicating with others to exchange information.


Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.


Operating machinery and/or power tools.


Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.


Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.



Environmental Conditions

Check all that apply


(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly

Low temperatures.


High temperatures.


Outdoor elements such as precipitation and wind.


Noisy environments.


Hazardous conditions.


Poor ventilation.


Small and/or enclosed spaces.


No adverse environmental conditions expected.



Physical Demands

Check only one


Sedentary work that primarily involves sitting/standing.


Light work that includes moving objects up to 20 pounds.


Medium work that includes moving objects up to 50 pounds.


Heavy work that includes moving objects up to 100 pounds or more.



Visit to apply.

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Defenders of Wildlife requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Defenders of Wildlife provides equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, sex national origin, ethnicity, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family/parental status, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic in all personnel actions.

Please be advised this position is non-union-eligible.