Grievance Counselor/Attorney Advisor

Washington D.C.
80,000-90,000 annually
May 31, 2023
Jul 05, 2023
Full Time

Grievance Counselor/Attorney Advisor

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional association and exclusive bargaining agent for the United States Foreign Service, seeks a Grievance Counselor/Attorney Advisor to work within the Labor Management department at the US Department of State located at 2201 C St NW, Rm 2805, Washington, DC. The position reports to the Senior Attorney Advisor. The position includes the option of flexible telework, but the incumbent must be in the office a minimum of 2 days a week. Applications will be accepted through July 4th. The start date will be as soon as possible.

The Organization

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), created in 1924, is the professional association for the U.S. Foreign Service. AFSA’s  members include active and retired Foreign Service officers and specialists primarily at the Department of State as well as at the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Foreign Commercial Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

AFSA is also a labor union, serving as the exclusive representative of members of the Foreign Service. AFSA negotiates with the management of the principal U.S. Government foreign affairs agencies on personnel policies and practices affecting members’ working conditions, and represents members in formal grievance proceedings, office of security and inspector general investigations, disciplinary proceedings, and EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) cases. For more information about AFSA, please go to

Compensation and Benefits

  • Annualized salary of $80,000 - $90,000 across 26 pay periods, depending on experience.
  • Optional telework up to 3 days a week once onboarding has been fully completed.
  • Full-time employees have access to a health care and retirement benefits package.
    • Subsidized Health, Dental, and Vision insurance
    • Disability (short and long), Life, and AD&D Insurance paid in full by AFSA.
    • 401(k) and/or Roth 401(k) with up to 5% matching
    • Paid Sick, Vacation and Parental leave.

The Position and Its Principal Responsibilities

The American Foreign Service Association is recruiting an individual with an interest in the Foreign Service, the U.S. Department of State and the other Foreign Affairs Agencies, and the Foreign Service Act (and related laws and regulations) to serve as Grievance Counselor in its Labor Management office in the Department of State. This position is available for a qualified individual seeking full-time employment.

Specific duties include:

  • Grievance Counseling & Representation: Counsel and represent Foreign Service officers and specialists on a wide variety of grievance issues under the Foreign Service Act, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) and other laws and regulations (to include annual employee evaluation issues, entry-level salary and tenure, low ranking, disciplinary actions, EEO matters and potential separations for failure to meet the standards of the class). This requires strong research, writing and communication skills.
  • Advise employees of adequate relief and remedies. Assist members in the drafting and preparation of grievances for final submission to the agency and Foreign Service Grievance Board (FSGB); engage in discovery, draft motions to compel, and represent employees in settlement discussions.
  • Legal: Research regulations, laws, and previous FSGB decisions to assist employees with their submission or to aid AFSA in its representation of Foreign Service employees. Research and draft letters regarding broader policy issues affecting members. Provide input on revisions and updates to the FAM, as requested.
  • Employee Inquiries: Answer employee inquiries and concerns on various issues including benefits and allowances in the form of phone calls, letters, and memoranda
  • Agency Liaison: Maintain good working relationship with FSGB staff and Agency personnel including but not limited to the Grievance Staff, the Office of Performance Evaluation, and the Office of Career Development and Assignments. Develop and maintain professional relationships with staff of other agencies when assisting members of those constituencies.
  • Other responsibilities as needed including assisting with in-person events as a part of the membership team and with recruitment campaigns.

Required Skills, Education and Characteristics:

  • College degree
  • The ability to obtain and maintain a public trust clearance (SF 86P).
  • Well versed with Microsoft Office tools, particularly Excel.
  • Ability to proactively handle multiple competing priorities and demands.
  • Strong research and analytical skills.
  • High-level organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.

Preferred Skills, Education and Characteristics

  • Law Degree with 1-3 years of legal experience (Attorney Advisor)
  • College degree with 8+ years of Foreign Service experience (Grievance Counselor)

Work Environment

  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk working on a computer. Primary work location will be AFSA Labor Management Department located at 2201 C St NW, Rm 2805, Washington, DC. 
  • The position includes the option of flexible telework, but the incumbent must be in the office a minimum of 2 days a week.

To Apply
Please email a detailed cover letter that explains why you are interested and qualified in this position and your resume, along with a brief writing sample.  The deadline is July 4th.