Manager, Employee & Labor Relations

Work Location: Washington, DC - US
Requisition Number: 1394
# of Openings: 1



Established more than 80 years ago on the core conviction that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where governments are accountable to their people, Freedom House is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to defend and expand freedom globally to help secure a world where all are free. Around the world, repressive regimes are preventing billions of people from exercising their fundamental rights. We identify and analyze threats to freedom, mobilize decision makers to respond to those threats and seize opportunities for progress, and support activists and organizations working to defend and expand freedom. We are dedicated to ensuring that the United States serves as a positive model of democratic practice at home and a consistent champion of freedom globally. By gathering authoritative data and leveraging our global networks, Freedom House is an unwavering beacon in protecting human rights and promoting democratic governance.


The Employee & Labor Relations Manager will play a critical role in all labor relations activities, which includes but is not limited to advising on collective bargaining negotiations; and providing guidance, support, training and counsel to staff and managers in employee and labor relations, compliance, policies & procedures, performance management and other employment legal matters. As first point of contact in all US employee and labor relations matters, the Manager will recommend solutions that reduce risk to the organization, provide appropriate support to all US-based employees, and ensure a fair, consistent approach to employee and labor relations practices. Additionally, they will help to create programs and initiatives that support positive relations between union and non-union staff, the union itself, and the organization with the goal of promoting employee engagement and satisfaction. The position will also work closely with the Director of Global Talent & Culture (T&C) as Freedom House prioritizes equity across all of Freedom House. The responsibilities of this role include proactive and responsive employee and labor relations, workplace investigations, management consultations, employee mediations, and other complex employee and labor relations matters in the US. Balancing time between the reactive and proactive spaces, training, policy development and culture cultivation will be critical for success in this role.


Employee Relations

  • Develops, cascades and promotes standardized processes, templates, tools and/or technologies to managing employee and labor relations, corrective action administration and escalated issue resolution protocols;
  • Manages employee relations matters to ensure that confidential personnel information, organization processes and procedures meet internal and external audit requirements;
  • Works with the T&C Team to administer, follow-up, and provide support to create solutions-based strategies to address organizational risks;
  • Establishes credibility as a resource throughout the organization through problem solving and coaching techniques;
  • Collaborates with VP, T&C on initiatives and processes informed by diversity, equity, and inclusion and focused on employee retention by promoting a high level of employee engagement in alignment with our culture pillars;
  • Develops core Talent & Culture training programs that advance organizational mission, values and ways of working in a unionized environment;
  • Leads investigations into labor relations matters, administers disciplinary actions, leave administration, job reclassifications and conflict resolution;
  • Administers federal/state leave policies and assists in the design and implementation of organization policies and procedures;

Labor Relations

  • Serves on the Management Bargaining Committee and provides labor relations support throughout the collective bargaining negotiation process, including note taking, action management, drafting and reviewing articles of agreement; • Coordinates the Labor-Management Committee, including agenda-setting, facilitating, and advising management.
  • Participates in the development and execution of labor relations strategies, provides guidance and proactively resolves labor relations issues;
  • Ensures proactive organizational compliance with collective bargaining agreements by interpreting and implementing articles of agreement;
  • Serves as a lead point of contact with union representative provides direction in addressing and resolving grievances and other labor management/union issues. • Supports Vice President, Talent & Culture and other Executives with NLRB, federal courts and other legal matters.



  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master's degree in industrial relations, Human Resources, Business or related area or Law degree and Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) certification desired. Certified mediator helpful.


  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in a Human Resources with 3 of those years in employee relations or labor relations.
  • Knowledge of contract administration and management of union - related matters
  • Experience in a union environment preferred.
  • Knowledge of the National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board and federal court precedent with an understanding of the litigation process to help predict outcomes and impact on Freedom House to reduce risk and ensure compliance.
  • Knowledge of employment law and practices (with an emphasis on ADA, the interactive process for accommodation requests, and leave of absence requirements).
  • Understanding of organization policies, procedures, state and federal laws, with the ability to apply the knowledge to multiple situations. • Ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation and strong mediation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Experience administering leaves of absence and legal compliance (FMLA, ADA).
  • Exceptional written and verbal/nonverbal skills, along with finely tuned interpersonal skills and professional judgment.
  • Ability to demonstrate empathy and emotional intelligence toward employees, also serving as a trusted resource.
  • Have a track record as a successful change agent who can help lead a transformation in culture.
  • A highly collaborative work style with the ability to partner with and influence key organizational leaders and build high functioning teams.
  • Ability to communicate effectively across cultural differences.
  • Possess excellent judgment and decision-making skills, including the ability to problem solve.
  • Invested in creating a positive and collegial unionized work environment that reflects equity across union, non-union, and international employees.

Technical Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality and exhibit unquestionable integrity, honesty, and forthrightness.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to respond promptly to inquiries in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Excellent relationship-builder with the ability to successfully work collaboratively with all levels of employees, the union, management, and external partners.

Personal Attributes and Characteristics:

  • Strong work ethic and desire for personal and professional development. Demonstrable desire for personal excellence.
  • Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills, especially related to labor and employment law.
  • Deeply committed to nonpartisanship, exhibiting a strong and sustained commitment to the mission of Freedom House.
  • Committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace where all feel that they belong.
  • Works as an effective team member, successfully balancing individual and team responsibilities.


  • Diversity makes our work stronger. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Diverse backgrounds relevant to the countries in which we have programming are a welcome asset.
  • Freedom House provides a strong benefits package, including a 403(b)-retirement account, commuter benefits, flexible hours, floating holidays, high employer contributions to medical, dental, and vision premiums, basic and voluntary life and AD&D insurance, short- and long-term disability, flexible spending account, and more.
  • Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit a resume and a cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position.
  • Salaries are commensurate with experience and based on pay grades that prioritize equity across the organization. The salary range for this role is $90,000 to $110,000 annualized, dependent upon experience.
  • Candidates must possess authorization to work in the United States independent from Freedom House sponsorship.


General Working Conditions:

  • General working office environment or telework.
  • May require long hours including evenings and weekends to complete tasks.

Work Environment and Physical Demands: Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting or remote work. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors. 

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