Position Description

Deputy Human Resources Director, Labor Relations
Location Washington, DC
Job Code 321-17
# of Openings 1
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Job Title: Deputy HR Director, Labor Relations

Department: Human Resources

Location: Washington D.C.

Reports to: Director of Human Resources

Supervises: N/A

Context: The Sierra Club has approximately 700 employees across the country, with around 200 employees in our Headquarters location in Oakland and nearly 100 employees in our Washington D.C. office.  Our Human Resources Department is comprised of 10 employees who work in our headquarters location.  This is an exciting new opportunity as it will be the first Human Resources position based out of our D.C. office and will be part of the Human Resources leadership team.

The Sierra Club has two in-house labor unions representing approximately 300 employees.  Sierra Employee Alliance, UAW Local 2103 (SEA) represents all non-supervisory employees at the Oakland headquarters.  Progressive Workers Union (PWU) represents all non-supervisory National Field employees and a handful of our Chapter positions.  Officers of both unions are Sierra Club employees elected by their fellow co-workers to serve as volunteer representatives.

As a growing organization and in an effort to strengthen management’s relationship with its labor unions, Sierra Club seeks a Deputy Director, Labor Relations to own all aspects of labor relations including contract negotiations and administration, interpretation of collective bargaining agreements, grievance management, and relationship building via regular union-management meetings.  Additionally, Sierra Club has programs dedicated to Labor and Economic Justice and Equity, Inclusion, and Justice which builds relationships with communities who want a clean energy future, as demonstrated via our partnership with various labor and environmental coalition partners like BlueGreen Alliance.  This position will play a key role in ensuring that the values of those programs are echoed in our labor relations and administration of complex conflict resolution and workplace investigations.

Scope:  Reporting directly to the Director of Human Resources, the Deputy Director, Labor Relations will: (1) support the HR Department in establishing a cooperative labor relations environment consistent with the mission, values and objectives of the Sierra Club; (2) have responsibility over complex conflict management and employee support associated with change management processes and workplace investigations in partnership with the Deputy Director, Employee Relations and the HR Partner team (3) lead training programs and other initiatives to ensure compliance with employment and labor laws (including EEO and harassment / discrimination laws). This position will work closely with the HR team located in the Sierra Club’s headquarters office and will work in close coordination with the other Deputy HR Director who leads on Employee Relations and Strategic Partnership work for the organization.

Job Activities / Responsibilities:

  1. Labor Relations: Support the HR Department in establishing a cooperative labor relations environment and related policies consistent with the mission, values and objectives of the Sierra Club (approx. 40%)
    • Lead in helping to resolve labor disputes and complaints in a fair and equitable way that meets the letter of the law, respects employee rights and protects the Sierra Club.
    • Collective bargaining with each of Sierra Club’s unions: Participate in negotiations as a spokesperson or committee member, (eventually becoming lead negotiator or lead Sierra Club representative at the bargaining table) prepare and present recommendations to the Board required for ratification, and ensure all agreements are implemented as required.
    • Administer collective agreements, including grievance resolution & conflict resolution.
    • Ensure the communication climate between all staff and union representatives is positive and promotes positive labor/management relations. Take a proactive approach to problem solving and ensure regular union-management meetings are conducted with each union.
    • Collaborate on policy and handbook revisions and updates to ensure accurate, effective practices.
    • Take lead role in building and maintaining a culture that reflects Sierra Club’s core values.
  2. Conflict Resolution & Workplace Investigations: Responsible for complex conflict management and employee support associated with change management and workplace investigations  (approx. 20%)
    • Engage in complex conflict resolution to mediate or resolve disputes or on-going concerns while applying our Equity, Inclusion and Justice values.
    • Work in close consultation with Deputy HR Director, ER and the HR Partner team to support the Employee Relations function, stepping in on highly sensitive, complex, or confidential issues including conducting or overseeing investigations, EEOC claims, and handling grievances. Help to ensure that HR can investigate claims of policy violations to conclusion.
    • Identify and escalate critical matters to HR Director.
  3. Legal Compliance, EEO activities and Preventative Trainings: Lead training programs, and lead other initiatives to ensure compliance with employment and labor laws (including EEO and harassment / discrimination laws) (approx. 20%)
    • Works with Deputy HR Director, Employee Relations to ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations.
    • Develop and deliver training content in support of inclusive and equitable HR practices, including delivering anti-harassment trainings. 
    • Collaborate with HR team and legal counsel on employment-related compliance, risk management, litigation, and enforcement issues as necessary.
    • Monitor and evaluate compliance with equal opportunity laws, guidelines, and policies to ensure that employment practices and contracting arrangements give equal opportunity without regard to protected status and to ensure adherence to applicable regulations.
    • Investigate employment practices or alleged violations of laws to document and correct discriminatory factors; oversee outside consultants or collaborate with others on the HR Team in the investigation of the same.
  4. Act as point of HR contact and support for our DC office staff (approx. 10%)
    • Support DC office staff by connecting staff (redirecting concerns) with the appropriate resource in the HR department or providing advice and guidance for urgent matters.
    • Engage proactively to ensure staff in the DC office or in field offices are connected to HR resources and will bring creative solutions to the HR team on how to better engage staff across the organization.
  5. Other responsibilities and projects, as assigned (approx. 10%)
    • Serve as back-up support for other members of HR leadership team.
    • Coordinate special projects, as assigned by Director of Human Resources.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Displays strong leadership capabilities, sees the big picture, and operates with perspective.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, pushing to meet deadlines; must remain cool and calm under pressure.
  • Ability to diagnose and successfully handle organizational development issues.​
  • Excellent negotiation/conflict resolution skills and good problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills - must be an articulate and persuasive communicator.​
  • Knowledge of current CA, Washington D.C. and Federal employment laws, and record keeping requirements.
  • Knowledge of HRIS systems - such as Workday and Taleo - and knowledge of employment record keeping requirements.
  • Must be able to work autonomously with high-level direction.
  • Detail-oriented, proactive, excellent organization and time management skills, good collaborator.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish credibility with internal clients, management, and legal colleagues.
  • Strong commitment to creating a workplace culture grounded in the values of equity, inclusion and justice.
  • A good sense of humor.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Human Resources or related field or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Graduate degree (MBA or JD), a plus. 
  • 10 plus years (progressive in nature) of work experience in the Labor Relations and Human Resources field that includes managing a business function or operation.
  • PHR or SPHR certification preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage employee relations/labor relations, including experience with collective bargaining activities and building relationships with unions.
  • Demonstrated experience handling workplace investigations.
  • Demonstrated experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements.
  • Demonstrated track record of developing effective relationships across all levels of the organization and with diverse client groups.


The Sierra Club offers competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan. This is a category 3 exempt position. Some travel is required for this position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) organization. Sierra Club does not sponsor H1B visas.

The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse workforce.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.

*If you are applying for one than one position with us, please attach your job-specific cover letters in the 'Attachments' section.


To Apply:

Please submit a resume and cover letter via this link. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis through November 10, 2017.