Position Description

Deputy Human Resources Director, Employee Relations
Location Sierra Club Headquarters, Oakland, CA
Job Code 241-18
# of Openings 1
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Job Title:  Deputy Human Rescources Director, Employee Relations
Department:  Human Resources
Location:  Oakland
Reports to:  Director of Human Resources
Supervises:  HR Partner Team

Context:  Sierra Club has approximately 750 employees across the country, with around 200 employees in our Headquarters location in Oakland.  Our Human Resources Department is comprised of 9 employees who work in the Oakland office as well as a Deputy HR Director for Labor Relations based in the Washington D.C. office. Sierra Club is dedicated to Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in our workplace culture. This position will play a key role in ensuring those values are echoed in our employee relations and administration of complex conflict resolution and workplace investigations. This individual will provide expertise; guidance and coaching for managing highly sensitive and complex Human Resources and Employee Relations matters. This position is a member of the HR Leadership Team.

Scope: Reporting to the HR Director, the Deputy HR Director, Employee Relations will act as the owner for all employee relations matters in collaboration with the Deputy HR Director, Labor Relations. This position is responsible for mentoring and managing members of the HR Partner team, supporting their work, and ensuring timely HR administrative functions and processes are being completed. This role is responsible for mediating dispute resolutions, taking the lead role in maintaining consistency of procedures, coaching managers, and fostering a positive workplace for employees.

Job Activities/Responsibilities:

  1. Management and Oversight of HR Partner Team (approx. 50%)
    1. Leads HR Partner Team to:
      • Ensure effective, impactful service and solutions to all client groups.
      • Establish and maintain a collaborative, service oriented team to deliver efficient, professional, and compassionate HR results.
    2. Supervises HR Partner team:
      • Makes hiring, salary, promotion and termination decisions.
      • Assigns work and establishes standards and priorities.
      • Ensures development and training of staff.
      • Prepares and conducts performance reviews.
    3. Oversees the following programs and duties, carried out by members of the HR Partner Team:
      • Job authorization and hiring process, including recommendations on compensation and job grades.
      • Communication channels between HR Partners and HR Coordinators with organization, including email response management.
      • Leaves of absence and ADA process.
      • HR Partner team to ensure proactive and impactful Employee Relations support.
      • Administrative new hire onboarding procedures.
      • Processing job changes, promotions, terminations and all other employee changes within HRIS system.
      • HRIS data entry and record management.
  2. Deputy Director Functions (approx.30%)
    1. Directs and coordinates the Employee Relations function, stepping in on highly sensitive, complex, or confidential issues including conducting investigations, EEOC claims, and grievances.
    2. Works with Labor Relations Deputy to ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations.
    3. Develop and deliver training content in support of inclusive and equitable HR practices.
    4. Oversee ongoing management training plan for all Sierra Club managers including ongoing learning.
    5. Primary owner of policy and handbook revisions and updates to ensure accurate, effective practices.
    6. Act as HR advocate for equity, inclusion, and justice.
    7. Take lead role in building and maintaining a culture that reflects the Sierra Club’s core values.
  3. Conflict Resolution and Employee Relations oversight: Responsible for complex conflict management and employee support associated with change management and workplace investigations (approx. 10%)
    1. Engage in complex conflict resolution to mediate or resolve disputes or on-going concerns while applying our Equity, Inclusion and Justice values.
    2. Identify and escalate critical matters to Director of Human Resources.
  4. Other responsibilities and projects, as assigned (approx.10%)
    1. Serve as back-up support for other members of HR leadership team.
    2. Coordinate special projects, as assigned by Director of Human Resources.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Displays strong leadership capabilities, sees the big picture, and operates with perspective.
  • Must be able to work autonomously with high-level direction.
  • 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 written and verbal communication skills - must be an articulate and persuasive communicator to all levels
  • Knowledge of current CA and Federal employment laws, and record keeping requirements.
  • Knowledge of HRIS systems employment record keeping requirements.
  • Detail-oriented, proactive, excellent organization and time management skills, good collaborator.
  • 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 Human Resources field that includes managing HR professionals.
  • PHR or SPHR certification preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage complex employee relations issues and workplace investigations; experience with labor relations a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to provide strategic guidance on building organizational effectiveness, talent development and performance management.
  • Demonstrated experience managing staff and/or a team of staff.
  • Demonstrated track record of developing effective relationships across all levels of the organization and with diverse client groups.
  • Prior experience building HR Partner function/capacity within an organization preferred.


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.

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.


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