Director of Labor Relations

The Position

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) seeks a Director of Labor Relations who is passionate about fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace where people of all races, genders, abilities, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, belong and thrive.

In this role, you will function as a connector who builds bridges and works collaboratively with NWLC’s Labor Management Committee, Office of the General Counsel, union leadership, and DEI & Belonging team to develop, plan and implement effective employee relations practices.  You will handle issues involving members of NWLC United, management, and confidential employees and ensure that labor relations matters and activities are conducted in a manner consistent with NWLC’s mission, labor relations and legal strategies, operational guidelines, and strategic objectives.

As the inaugural Director of Labor Relations, you will work to nurture a transparent and compassionate workplace and play a key part of ensuring NWLC lives up to its promises by owning work to build and maintain systems and processes supporting our first collective bargaining agreement. You will report to our interim Vice President of Administration and Finance until a Chief Operations Officer is hired.

This is a full-time exempt position of 37.5 hours per week.

The Moment 

You join NWLC and the Human Resources team at a crucial juncture in the organization’s history and will be the first person to have this role.  In the spring of 2020, NWLC proudly and voluntarily recognized a staff bargaining unit, NWLC United, affiliated with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union/IFPTE Local 70, a union for non-profit workers. After a year of preparing to get to the table and a year and a half of bargaining, management and union representatives reached agreement and joyfully signed the organization’s first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in October of 2022.  The organization is currently investing in growing the human resources team to match the organization’s recent growth and recently invested in establishing a DEI & Belonging team to enhance and further build out people practices and infrastructure that are grounded in equity, working in close collaboration with the human resources team and the entire staff.

The Organization

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) fights for gender justice — in the courts, in public policy, and in our society — working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls.

We use the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us — especially women of color, LGBTQ+ people, and low-income women and families.

For 50 years, we have been on the leading edge of every major legal and policy victory for women, and we need you with us to continue this fight.


  • Establish credibility throughout the organization and foster generative relationships with union leaders and members, people managers, and all staff so that you can be an effective listener and problem solver of people issues;
  • Serve as subject matter expert and trainer around processes and protocols related to fostering generative, collaborative relationships with union and management leaders, CBA compliance, and to prepare for negotiating subsequent contracts;
  • Participate in the development of the negotiation strategy that includes non-economic impacts of the CBA and assist in the preparation of the negotiation strategy package, including identifying and developing meaningful labor relations metrics that inform the next negotiation;
  • Serve on the Labor-Management Committee, working closely with the Management team and helping to facilitate input from other management staff and confidential employees when needed;
  • Build and maintain systems and processes to ensure compliance with the CBA and serve as HR’s lead for the grievance process;
  • Monitor employee complaints and grievances for trends and ideate policy and or protocol improvements to decrease complaints;
  • Support implementation of HR programs as needed to ensure an effective, sustainable people strategy over the long term;
  • Support managers in implementing equitable and timely semi- and annual employee performance reviews and in managing through probation periods;
  • Support managers in the discipline process including development and review of corrective actions, including written warnings, performance improvement plans, termination requests and related documentation;
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of applicable employment and labor laws, reducing risk and ensuring regulatory compliance;
  • Support the implementation of the DEIB culture and equity strategic plan; and
  • Handle other projects as needed.


  • Minimum of seven (7) years of relevant work experience in human resources, ideally in a social justice nonprofit or a labor union;
  • At least three (3) years of work experience in a unionized environment;
  • SHRM-CP or PHR preferred;
  • Proficiency in HRIS Systems and Case Management Software;
  • Demonstrated ability to make recommendations to effectively resolve problems or issues by using judgment that is consistent with policies, regulations, and government law;
  • Demonstrated ability to objectively coach employees and management through issues that may be complex, difficult and emotional;
  •  In-depth understanding of and the ability to apply technical principles, theories, and concepts of the labor relations field;
  • Strong understanding and working knowledge of applicable labor and employment laws and regulations at the state and federal level, including NLRA, FLSA, Title VII, ADA and FMLA;
  • Ability to proactively analyze and interpret complex employee data to provide solutions to employee labor relations matters;
  • Outstanding interpersonal, teamwork, and collaboration skills;
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and project management software (Asana or equivalent);
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain the highest ethical standards, including confidentiality and handling sensitive situations and information with the utmost discretion and diplomacy;
  • Commitment to ideals of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion; and
  • Commitment to fostering an anti-racist work culture and to anti-racist principles and learning.

Potential Professional development for this position (not exhaustive):

  • Labor relations
  • Project management
  • State and federal employment laws
  • Conflict resolution/Mediation
  • Trauma stewardship/trauma informed response

Key Relations

The Director of Labor Relations reports to the Interim Vice President of Administration and Finance. Additionally, the Director of Labor Relations will collaborate closely with NWLC’s Labor Management Committee, Office of the General Counsel, NWLC United leadership, and DEI & Belonging team.

Compensation & Benefits

A salary within the range of $122,255.00-147,853.00 will be provided to the successful candidate with 7 to 19+ years of experience, consistent with the National Women’s Law Center’s compensation framework. The successful candidate’s salary within this range will be determined by the number years of relevant experience they bring to the role.

The Center offers a comprehensive benefits package, and four weeks of annual vacation.

NWLC is a non-profit organization whose headquarters and staff are based in Washington, D.C. NWLC’s telework policy is currently under review as we prepare to move into our new office at 1350 Eye Street N.W., Washington DC, in March 2023. The assumption is that all roles are based in D.C. and will be required to work in person at least monthly. We continue to monitor public health guidance and keep safety, science, and flexibility top of mind as we evaluate what reopening looks like for our team.

The first 90 days of employment will be considered a probationary period.


This position is a management role and as such is not included in the union-represented bargaining unit, NWLC United, affiliated with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union/IFPTE Local 70.

How to Apply

To apply, please forward a resume and a cover letter outlining how your professional background is a good fit for this position. Resumes should include exact start and end dates (month and year) of employment and education, as well as the average number of hours worked per week in each job. Please send application materials via email to: [email protected] and include the position title in the subject line. Applications accepted until position is filled.

The National Women’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and values a diverse workforce. We strongly encourage and seek applications from people with disabilities; people of all genders, gender identities and sexual orientations; people of color; and veterans. 

Reasonable Accommodations

If you require reasonable accommodations during any part of the hiring process, please email [email protected].