Senior Labor and Employee Relations Officer

Washington D.C
Sep 28, 2022
Oct 03, 2022
Full Time
Minimum Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Labor Relations, Human Resources, Economics, Business Administration or related field.

  • Seven years (7) of progressively responsible experience in labor and employee relations to include human resources counseling, dispute resolution, grievance handling and arbitration preparation and presentation, negotiation and the administration of negotiated labor agreements in a large organization with demonstrated success in dealing with varied labor and employee relations activities. Must include three (3) years of experience in a unionized environment.


  • Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school.

  • Admission to a state's bar.

Medical Group:

Ability to satisfactorily complete the medical examination for this job. The employee must be able to perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodations.

Job Summary/Duties:

The Senior Labor and Employee Relations Officer (SLERO) performs strategic labor and employee relations activities that are designed to strengthen the employer-employee relationship with all Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) employees whether union represented or non-represented. The Senior Officer forges a productive working environment and achieves effective results that are grounded in respect for all parties, consistent with WMATA's business goals and objectives. The incumbent exercises independent judgment and action.

The Senior Officer routinely handles information that is highly sensitive and confidential. The incumbent reviews and analyzes all available information and provides routine and complex professional labor and employee relations consultation, guidance and coaching to managers. The Senior Officer provides investigative advice covering all areas of the employer-employee relationship, which includes; job classification, performance management, compensation, benefits, recruiting, candidate selection, promotion, drug and alcohol testing and the Employee Assistance Program, workers' compensation, contract interpretation, discipline and discharge. The incumbent also conducts workplace complaint investigations of both routine and complex situations, and represents WMATA's interest in labor negotiations, grievance administration, labor contract administration, and binding arbitration.

  • Negotiates, researches, drafts and implements position statements, settlement agreements and policy changes of wide-ranging disputes arising from or related to the collective bargaining agreements, using clear, creative and effective strategies. Provides advice on operational subjects to maximize safety and works to manage associated risk to minimize WMATA's public and internal exposure to injuries or damage. Advances safety and operational efficiency objectives.
  • Provides advice and guidance to managers and supervisors. including investigations and the administration of disciplinary actions and contract grievances, using extensive knowledge of WMATA's five (5) collective bargaining agreements and related policies and procedures.
  • Conducts comprehensive investigations of varied workplace complaints and allegations. Analyzes factual information to help make determinations regarding the validity of complaints and prepares report summaries with defensible guidance and outcomes.
  • Provides guidance to employees and management regarding alleged acts of misconduct, workplace violence, poor performance, disclosure and disposition of arrests/convictions, etc. Prepares documents related to employee suspensions, demotions, and terminations. Supports managers and supervisors by developing and tracking Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) for employees with performance issues. Applies knowledge of the principles, practices, and techniques of employee relations, workplace violence prevention, conflict management and human resources management to advise managers on how to respond to and correct unacceptable conduct and performance behavior.
  • As the General Manager/CEO's designee, administers and coordinates grievances to resolution. This includes responding to CBA Step IV and Step III grievances (or their equivalent), settling grievances and supporting Departments/Offices respond to and/or settle grievances at the lowest possible level. Supports management to improve labor-management relations, employee morale and engagement and to decrease costs (administrative and operational).
  • Functions as the liaison for arbitrations; identifies witnesses, coordinates their availability and prepares them for testimony. Also, gathers documents to ensure that WMATA is in the best position to prevail during arbitration.
  • Partners with Occupational Health and Wellness (OHAW), the Office of General Counsel and Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (OEEO), regarding workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, FMLA, fitness for duty, EAP/SAP and drug and alcohol testing issues. Responds to inquiries and grievances regarding policies and procedures. Develops and implement processes and best practices to effectively address WMATA-wide business goals. Ensures that the investigative and disciplinary processes are consistent and equitable for all employees.
  • Participates as a member of key organizational committees, including Reduction in Force (RIF), ADA Accommodation, Religious Accommodation Committee, and Joint Labor/Management Committees. Provides expertise, guidance, and renders decisions consistent with applicable policy or committee charter.
  • Provides labor and employee relations training to employees and management. Supports the labor-management processes to increase management's level of awareness, improve participants' negotiation and conflict management skills, and increase participants' motivation to perform well.
  • Conducts complex labor negotiations with organizations representing WMATA employees. Recommends, prepares and evaluates management proposals prior to negotiations and assists in the development of the Authority's labor strategy. Creates and implements effective collective bargaining agreements that forge productive working relationships and achieve effective results
  • Conducts factual and legal research. Represents WMATA as advocate in arbitration, conducts full evidentiary hearings, drafts post-hearing briefs and participates in executive sessions as needed. Also, argues motions on issues arising in arbitration proceedings.
  • Using advanced conflict resolution and mediation skills, provides conflict resolution for all employees to resolve peer disputes or disputes between employees and their supervisors or managers.

The above duties are not intended to limit and responsibilities specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. It is not intended to limit in any way the right of supervisors to assign, direct and control the work of employees under their supervision.

Evaluation Criteria

Consideration will be given to applicants whose resumes demonstrate the required education and experience. Applicants should include all relevant education and work experience.

Evaluation criteria may include one or more of the following:
  • Skills and/or behavioral assessment
  • Personal interview
  • Verification of education and experience (including certifications and licenses)
  • Criminal Background Check (a criminal conviction is not an automatic bar to employment)
  • Medical examination including a drug and alcohol screening (for safety sensitive positions)
  • Review of a current motor vehicle report


WMATA is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by applicable federal law.

This posting is an announcement of a vacant position under recruitment. It is not intended to replace the official job description. Job descriptions are available upon confirmation of an interview.

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