Senior Employee Relations Specialist

Administrative Seattle, Washington


Description

Who we are - Northwest Center was founded in 1965 by mothers who had their children with disabilities turned away from public schools. They created their own inclusive Early Learning centers and wrote the first national legislation to ensure education for all children. Northwest Center went on to grow our services and create a variety of businesses to support our mission. We operate our diverse portfolio of businesses as a social enterprise: providing essential services to our customers, making a positive social impact through inclusive workforces, and directly funding our therapy, education, and employment services for people with disabilities.           
 
We are focused on our collective North—a world where all children have equitable access to education and the employment rate for people with disabilities is the same as the general population. 
 
The role itself – The Senior Employee Relations Specialist, is primarily responsible for resolving complex employee relations issues and will play a crucial role in shaping our workplace culture. You will serve as the go-to person for handling employee complaints, assisting managers with disciplinary actions or policy interpretation, and ensuring a positive workplace environment across Northwest Centers divisions. This role will work on a team of HR professionals spanning across the organization.  
 
This pivotal role will drive the principles and processes required to navigate complex and sensitive employee issues, conducting thorough investigations, and providing sound guidance in pursuit of the best outcomes that mitigate risks.  We are seeking a candidate with a strong employee relations skillset, an analytical mindset, and robust commitment to inclusion. 
 
Position: Senior Employee Relations Specialist           
Location: Seattle, WA
Salary: $75,000 – $80,000 per year
 
As part of our ongoing commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, we’re invested in building teams with various backgrounds, identities, and experiences. If you share our values, support our mission, and meet some requirements, we encourage you to apply.   
 
What we can offer:                   
  • Competitive and affordable Medical (including hearing & hardware coverage!), Dental, Vision, Disability, and Life Insurance
  • 17 Accrued Paid Time Off Days Annually
  • Additional 11 Annual Floating Holidays, Parental Leave, and Paid Compassion Leave
  • Retirement 401(K) with a company match
  • Company-Provided Orca Pass – Unlimited use
  • Employment Assistance Program (EAP) via Spring Health
  • Mental Wellness Program including six free therapy sessions per year
  • Opportunity for career development with our NWC Mentorship Match program
  • Physical Wellness Reimbursement Program - $25/month
  • Student Loan Contribution Program - $50/month
  • Pet Insurance Discount Program
 
Check out the entire list of benefits Northwest Center has to offer here: http://www.nwcbenefits.com/               
 
What You Will Do:
Employee Relations:  
  • Provide counsel to managers and employees on coaching, performance management, policy interpretation, and progressive discipline.  
  • Advise employees and management on HR programs and daily inquiries regarding HR-related matters.  
  • Address employee grievances, complaints, and concerns; recommend appropriate actions while maintaining comprehensive documentation and notes. 
  • Support sensitive investigations into employee relation matters, including complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace policy violations.  
  • Deliver investigation findings, including providing well-documented reports.  
  • Oversee exit interviews, compiling information, reporting and sharing insights.  
  • Host regular open office hours to encourage employee engagement and address concerns proactively.  
  • Foster positive relations among all levels of management, supervisors, and employees.  
  
Compliance and Equity:  
  • Interpret HR policies, procedures, laws, standards, and regulations to educate employees and minimize company liability.  
  • Actively champion the creation and maintenance of an equitable and inclusive work environment for all employees.  
  • Assist the Leaves and Accommodations team in the ADA Interactive Accommodation process to ensure compliance with legal requirements.  
  
Training and Development:  
  • Facilitate NWC training covering employment best practices, specific HR-related topics, and other related programs and initiatives.  
  • Contribute to organizing and executing employee appreciation activities to enhance workplace morale and cohesion.  
  
HR Support and Documentation:  
  • Offer feedback on the development, interpretation, and application of HR policies and practices.  
  • Assist the Benefits team by reinforcing communications and guiding employees with benefit-related queries to the appropriate team member.  
  • Support the unemployment claims and appeals processes effectively.  
  • Updating employee files and fulfilling additional responsibilities as assigned to support the overall HR function.  
 
Who You Are 
  • 3+ years of Human Resources experience, with an emphasis on Employee Relations.   
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; establishes trust and inspires others.  
  • Experience with coaching, performance management, and progressive discipline.  
  • Thorough knowledge of HR best practices including employment law and regulations.   
  • A strong understanding and commitment to Northwest Center’s mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to travel outside of the Greater Seattle area, including but not limited to Bellingham, Spokane and nationally as needed - 25%
  • This is a dog-friendly environment with over 1,000 dogs on campus. Individuals with dog allergies or those who do not care for dogs may not be the best fit.   
 
Northwest Center is committed to offering reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact us at [email protected] 
  
At Northwest Center, we do not just accept diversity and inclusion — we celebrate it, support it, live it, and flourish in it to benefit our employees, the community, and our clientele. We believe that our strength lies within our diversity and the forward motion towards a day when people of all abilities can learn and work together. 
     
We believe that curiosity and critical thinking are essential to the dialogue and improving decision-making, planning, resource allocation, and how we treat others. Our goal is to create and implement more equitable practices, policies, and culture. To be equitable means to value and respect individuals from all cultural backgrounds, genders, races, identities, and abilities. Northwest Center is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, including disability and veterans’ status.