Employee Relations Specialist

University Of Washington Seattle , WA 98113

Posted 2 months ago

The University of Washington is following physical distancing directives from state and local governments as part of the collective effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. Click here for updates

Work at IHME is ordinarily performed in an office environment, but IHME is requiring remote work under most circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this evolving situation, changes to this policy will be discussed as they occur throughout the interview process.

Office is located in Seattle, Washington. This position is eligible to work fully remote; work schedule required to overlap 50% of IHME Office hours between 8am - 6pm Pacific Time.

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a "Great College to Work For" for six consecutive years.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to monitor global health conditions and health systems, as well as to evaluate interventions, initiatives, and reforms.

IHME carries out a range of projects within different research areas including the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Costs and Cost-effectiveness; Local Burden of Disease; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. The aim is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base to make decisions that achieve better health.

IHME is committed to providing the evidence base necessary to help solve the world's most important health problems. This requires creativity and innovation, which is cultivated by an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that respects and appreciates differences, embraces collaboration, and invites the voices of all IHME team members.

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for an Employee Relations Specialist on the Organizational Development and Training (ODT) team. The Employee Relations Specialist supports IHME's human resources and organizational development and training programs and supports the culture, policies, and procedures by maintaining a positive, consultative relationship with Institute employees. We are seeking someone who will be a liaison between employer and employee; receive and effectively handle conflict in the workplace; update employees with any changes in policy; advise, train, and coach supervisors on management practices and company policies; and provide guidance with employment laws.

To do this work, we are looking for a compassionate individual with great interpersonal skills who is able to build relationships with employees across the organization. You must have demonstrated experience working with union contracted employees, exercising good judgment and problem-solving skills, along with a friendly and persuasive nature in order to be trusted to find solutions to help problem-solve and explore alternatives for conflict resolution and organizational changes.

The Employee Relations Specialist must understand organizational complexities, reporting relationships, and specific roles and responsibilities across IHME and within the broader context of the UW's administration of policies and procedures. We are looking for someone who is excited to positively, creatively, and strategically contribute to IHME as the Institute continues to grow.


Employee Relations

Investigate formal and informal employee inquiries and complaints: counsel staff on complaint resolution options and facilitate resolutions. Provide guidance with employee coaching, conflict conversations, expectation-setting, documentation of employee performance, performance improvement plans, and dismissals.

Ensure compliance and adherence to Federal, State, UW, and IHME policies, regulations and collective bargaining agreements.

Serve as IHME's point of contact between UW Labor Relations and UW Human Resources, advise IHME management on union contracts, lead and/or participate in grievance meetings, resolve employee and labor relations issues, participate in collective bargaining, respond to information requests, and coordinate contract implementation.

Research, analyze, and respond to employee/manager questions and/or issues regarding HR policies and processes.

Advise management and staff of laws and rules governing various types of leave use, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Partner with UW Leave/HR Consultant/Disability Offices on complex leave and accommodation issues.

Participate in policy writing and interpretation.

Conduct formal and informal job-related training on a variety of topics as needed

Partner with senior leaders to implement employee programs that build a positive culture which creates a positive employee relations climate.

Manage and provide guidance to senior leaders for organizational layoffs due to funding, re-orgs, or lack of work.

Assist in developing procedural efficiencies within the human resources team.

Complete other duties as assigned.

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.


Bachelor's degree in Business, Human Resources, Organizational Development, Psychology, or related field plus four years of employee relations experience.

Additional Requirements:

Experience working in human resources in a unionized environment.

Demonstrated knowledge of employment law.

Proficient in Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word.

Demonstrated ability to work with confidential information.

Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations.

Demonstrated project management skills, including the ability to think independently, track many details and logistics concurrently, be flexible, and juggle priorities for multiple ongoing projects with minimal supervision.

Strong interpersonal, teamwork, and customer service skills, as well as the ability to foster positive relationships with diverse members of staff and supervisors.

Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Strong attention to detail and accuracy.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


Six years of employee relations experience.

Knowledge of University rules and regulations.

Knowledge of State and Federal Employment Laws.

Experience working in human resources in a higher education institution.


Weekend and evening work is sometimes required.

Application Process:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.

Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select "Apply to this position". Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your "My Jobs" page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

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Employee Relations Specialist

University Of Washington