Employee Relations Specialist
Travis County - Austin, TX

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Overall responsibility for administering and facilitating the delivery of Employee Relations policies, procedures and activities to ensure alignment, consistent interpretation and application of laws, personnel policies and procedures.

Distinguishing Characteristics:
This is a job classification within the Human Resources job family. This position performs highly advanced employment specialist professional level human resource management duties. This position may require a flexible work schedule in order to meet the needs of the organization.

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Implements and interprets management policies and operating practices for the purpose of achieving department objectives and ensuring compliance with administrative requirements.
  • Researches and evaluates complex and sensitive employee relations issues impacted by County Policy and numerous state and federal laws; provides technical guidance to all levels of management and to employees.
  • Advise and counsel employees and management to prevent and, when necessary, resolve disputes, and when unable to resolve the disputes, serves as the direct contact for the application of the grievance procedures.
  • Serves as diversity consultant to county departments. Participates on diversity projects that strengthen organizational systems to support a diverse workforce; researches, develops and recommends policies on diversity.
  • Investigates and responds to complaints of discrimination based on Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and other Federal and State and Local EEO laws and affirmative action regulations related to employment.
  • Evaluates complaints in consultation with legal counsel and collaboratively develop an investigation strategy, if an investigation is warranted.
  • Completes thorough, timely and well documented investigation reports that include recommendations based on findings to prevent discriminatory environments or potential discriminatory employment practices.
  • Report findings and discuss recommendations with management in an effort to initiate change in the workplace environment that may be perceived as discriminatory in consultation with legal counsel.
  • Identifies, monitors and reports significant trends to mitigate risks and liabilities.
  • Completes appropriate closure including acceptance/rejection decision making, preparation of closure letters, report of investigation reviews and the development of proposed dispositions pursuant of EEOC guidelines.
  • Initiate resolution process in consultation with legal counsel including gathering, analyzing and evaluating documents for purposes of preparing files for investigations, hearings, requests and/or other administrative requirements.
  • Monitor changes in state and federal labor laws and ensure regulatory postings are up to date throughout County offices and are disseminated accordingly.
  • Maintain the Human Resources Policies and Procedures Handbooks and act as lead in developing, and updating HR policies and procedures as necessary to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Prepare, update, and maintain the EEO and Affirmative Action Plans.
  • Attends meetings and provides staffing for department.
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Requirements:

Education and Experience:
Bachelor's degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, Public Administration, Organizational Development or a directly related field AND five (5) to seven (7) years of experience in Human Resources functions e.g., EEO/AA compliance, including legal interpretation, complaint investigation and reporting; grievance processes and outreach, and discipline/discharge procedures. Must have demonstrated experience with Federal, State, and Local employment laws, diversity, and investigative strategies. Demonstrated experience with EEO training and presentations. Demonstrated knowledge of current EEO 'best practices', human resource compliance law, and policy & procedure development and interpretation. Demonstrated computer competency and preferably knowledgeable of HRIS systems;


Any combination of education and experience that has been achieved and is equivalent to the stated education and experience and required knowledge, skills, and abilities sufficient to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of this job.

Licenses, Registrations, Certifications, or Special Requirements:
Valid Texas Driver's License.

Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR);
Professional in Human Resources Certification (PHR).

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of:
  • Employment law and Affirmative Action.
  • Investigative processes.
  • Developed analytical, organizational, and communication skills.
  • Various Countywide and regional resources.
  • Leadership.
  • Highly developed organizational and analytic skills.
  • Discrimination theories.
  • Principles and practices of human resource management.
  • Federal, State, and Local laws, including complex federal, and state regulations regarding employment, Affirmative Action/EEO, diversity, and investigative strategies.
  • Compiling data and generating reports.
  • Federal, State laws and significant employment statutes.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division.
  • Texas Governor's Committee on Disabilities.
  • Exemplary communication skills (both written and oral) evidenced by background in investigations.
  • Computer equipment to include word processing, spreadsheets and databases, and related software applications.
Skill in:
  • Human Resources rules, policies and procedures.
  • Project management.
  • Working with executive management, and Elected and Appointed Officials.
  • Applying Human Resources and consulting methods.
  • Developing reports and conducting data analysis.
  • Problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Explaining complicated technical problems in simple non-technical language.
  • Both verbal and written communication.
Ability to:
  • Demonstrate strong work ethic and professional demeanor.
  • Maintain current with changing customers and federal EEO compliance laws.
  • Work independently and as part of a team.
  • Interpret information accurately and make decisions according to existing laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Produce written documents with clearly organized thoughts using proper sentence construction, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Counsel, mediate, and work cooperatively and tactfully with employees, management, clients, and business associates of various backgrounds.
  • Explain information in a clear and understandable manner to non-technical persons.
  • Analyze and interpret complex federal and state legislation.
  • Interpret County policies and procedures.
  • Prepare various reports.
  • Communicate effectively and in writing.
  • Develop and make effective presentations.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with County employees and officials, representatives of outside agencies, and the general public.

Work Environment & Other Information:

Physical requirements include the ability to lift/carry up to 20-50 pounds occasionally, visual acuity, speech and hearing, hand and eye coordination and manual dexterity necessary to operate a computer and office equipment. Subject to standing, walking, sitting, repetitive motion, reaching, climbing stairs, bending, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, pushing, pulling, balancing, client/customer contact, squatting to perform the essential functions.

This job description is intended to be generic in nature. It is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities. The essential duties, functions and responsibilities and overtime eligibility may vary based on the specific tasks assigned to the position.

Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday

Location: 700 Lavaca Street, Austin

Department: Human Resources Management

Criminal, Driving, Education & Employment Background Check Required