Employee Benefits Specialist
College of the Desert - Palm Desert, CA

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Under the direction of the Executive Director, Human Resources and Labor Relations, performs a variety of routine and complex administrative, technical and professional work in analyzing and administering the various components of the employee benefits, leaves, wellness, and workers’ compensation programs while maintaining a very high degree of confidentiality. The Employee Benefits Specialist (Confidential) duties normally require access to confidential information that is used to contribute significantly to the development of management positions.


  • Respond to employee inquiries regarding enrollment, eligibility, administration, claims resolution, and deductions regarding group health insurance (medical, dental, vision, prescription drug, employee assistance program), life insurance, flexible spending accounts, long term care, and COBRA. Maintain the confidentiality and privacy of employee and District records. E
  • Initiate and disseminate communications to employees explaining plans and benefits. Facilitate and make arrangements for the presentation of workshops. Maintain the Health Benefits webpage. Design, coordinate and facilitate benefits orientation training for new employees. Assist with the coordination of health fairs, wellness programs, and special District sponsored activities for employees. E
  • Plan and execute annual open enrollment for benefits and other related programs. Prepare benefits correspondence and materials; communicate with employees; and review and process completed enrollment forms. E
  • Liaise with separated employees and retirees to provide information and assistance pertaining to continued benefit options, COBRA, open enrollment, and Medicare supplemental plans E
  • Provide information to employees and administrators relating to leaves, including state, federal, and negotiated benefits. Review forms for accuracy and process FMLA and CFRA leave requests. Work collaborative with payroll to monitor leave balances and benefits. E
  • Accurately process and monitor claims for workers’ compensation. Meet with employees reporting work-related injuries or illnesses to initiate claims and complete accident reports in accordance with District procedures; communicate with employees, supervisors, workers' compensation insurance carrier, treating physicians or other health care providers and the Fiscal Services in the monitoring of workers' compensation claims. Meet with supervisors and employees regarding modified return to work with restrictions. E
  • Assist the Executive Director with issues related to the American Disability Act (ADA) and requests for accommodations by employees and applicants. Research and recommend health care professionals for fitness for duty examinations. E
  • Respond to employee inquiries regarding retirement and disability insurance benefits and procedures, including CalPERS, CalSTRS and SDI. E
  • Administer the District’s Transportation, Drug and Alcohol Testing Program. Notify employees of testing, maintain records for Department of Transportation, serve as a contact for federal agencies. E
  • Serve on assigned District committees; represent the Office of Human Resources at District meetings, including the Health and Welfare Committee and the Safety Committee. Provide data and recommendations regarding benefits policies and practices. E
  • Meet schedules and timelines, organize multiple projects efficiently and effectively and carry out required project details throughout the year. E
  • Seek and participate in professional development activities. E
  • Assist with the new employee and student worker processing. Advise students, employees and the public regarding Human Resources information in person or by telephone where judgment, knowledge and interpretation of policies, procedures and regulations are necessary.
  • Perform special projects as assigned. Research and recommend modifications to existing policies and procedures.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
  • E = Essential Duties

    Required Skills Knowledge of : Principles and practices of benefits and leaves administration; state and federal laws and regulations including equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination, HIPPA, COBRA, ADA, FMLA, CFRA, FSA, retirement systems, and workers’ compensation. Principle and practices of employee relations and the collective bargaining agreements; Human Resources policies and procedures; excellent customer service skills to communicate respectfully and courteously with individuals at all levels of the organization; correct English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary; presentation skills; confidential records maintenance.

    Ability to : Effectively and efficiently assist in the management of the District's benefits programs; learn and interpret District policies and procedures accurately; learn and interpret state and federal regulations; communicate effectively orally and in writing; establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with District personnel, associations, community members, agencies and organizations; communicate with 3 rd party administrators, health providers, and all levels of employees to discuss and resolve problems tactfully, courteously and effectively; to demonstrate an understanding and sensitivity of the diverse backgrounds of students, employees and the community; operate a computer and Microsoft Office Suite; coordinate and organize tasks, set priorities, and follow up on outstanding issues; work confidentially with discretion on sensitive and private information; complete multi-faceted projects, activities and functions with good attention to detail; analyze technical problems, evaluate alternatives and make sound recommendations and decisions; conduct and analyze data, translate findings into clear and concise reports and recommendations; work independently and confidentially with minimal direction; exercise tact and diplomacy in dealing with sensitive or confidential matters.

    Required Experience MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

    Any combination equivalent to: an Associate’s degree in human resources, business administration, public administration or related field and at least three (3) years of Human Resources experience, including at least two (2) years of benefits administration.


    Experience with Worker’s Compensation, American Disability Act (ADA), Retirement, Drug & Alcohol Testing Program, COBRA, FMLA, CFRA, CalPERS, CalSTRS and disability administration. Previous experience working in higher education. Excellent customer service skills.


    Valid California driver's license and must have an acceptable driving record and current vehicle insurance meeting State of California requirements.

    College of the Desert - 23 months ago - save job
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