Director of Employee & Labor Relations 
Job Posted: 9 November 2023
Company: Cuyahoga County
Closing Date: 10 December 2023
Location: Cleveland, Ohio


Link to application and full position listing 


Job Summary

Under the direction of the Chief Human Resources Officer, this position provides strategic direction and implementation for the County regarding employee and labor relations matters, dispute resolutions, employee disciplinary actions, and collective bargaining agreements. Assumes a leading role in union-management contract negotiations and subsequent implementation. Ensures management is appropriately trained to handle employee & labor related issues and leads the County’s efforts to maintain direct working relationships with non-represented associates.

Minimum Requirements

  • Juris Doctorate with seven (7) years of experience successfully participating or conducting mediations, union contract negotiations, facilitating conflict resolution and working in a union environment establishing labor-management practices and procedures.
  • Five (5) years of experience managing a team or division of multiple members.
  • Demonstrated competencies in critical analysis, fostering communication, managing conflicts, negotiating, organizational savvy, and information gathering and processing.
  • Light physical effort in sedentary to light work. May involve some manipulation of lightweight items (5-10 pounds). May involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or workstation.

Essential Job Functions

  • With input from the management team and the Law Department, develops collective bargaining short and long-term agenda of the County consistent with the County’s mission, values and goals. Serves as Human Resources (HR) representative in collective bargaining and develops strategies in collaboration with the Law Department and appropriate HR divisions. Leads the development and implementation of communication plan following ratification.
  • Plans action steps and goals for improving employee-management relationships to maintain the County as an employer of choice.
  • In conjunction with the Law Department, leads efforts and initiatives to ensure that the County is in compliance with all employee and labor related local, state, and federal guidelines and regulations. Coordinates with the Law Department to keep abreast of new statutory and case law applicable to employee and labor relations and develops plans for bringing the County into compliance.
  • Administers and manages administration of labor contracts, including grievance administration. Provides interpretation of labor contracts for managers and HR staff in coordination with the Law Department. Advises manager and employees on sensitive labor relations matters, including grievances and arbitration procedures, performance issues and disciplinary actions.
  • Manages the investigation and response to internal discrimination and harassment charges and coordinates with the Law Department regarding external charges.
  • Manages the County’s ADA and religious accommodation processes and provides oversight of the fitness-for-duty and disability separation processes.
  • Oversees the work of the Human Resources Records Administrator who is responsible for maintenance of records and compliance with HR public records requests and the Department’s record retention schedule.
  • Oversees the work of the County’s EHS Manager and the Workers’ Compensation Unit.
  • Supervises staff who manage the County’s unemployment compensation program.
  • Oversees the development and periodic updating of the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Plan and is the point person for County personnel seeking to apply for intergovernmental grants that require information about the plan.
  • Facilitates on-going communication and working relationships with employee representative organizations, including coordination of joint labor-management committees.
  • Supervises all reporting staff. Mentors, coaches, trains, and develops assigned team members. Sets goals, objectives, staffing and work standards, and monitors performance against standards. Acts as resource and support to staff, removing barriers to effective performance.
  • Oversees leader training on employee and labor relations issues to ensure management readiness related to all aspects of employee & labor relations, including discussion of associate rights and responsibilities and how to appropriately address potential organizing activities.
  • Serves as the primary liaison to the Law Department on labor and employment matters. Advises stakeholders of recommendations to achieve the County’s objectives.
  • Coordinates timely and accurate production of employee and labor relations statistics, issues and cases to ensure necessary reporting to Chief Human Resources Officer and other leadership throughout the organization. Reviews statistics on a quarterly basis, ensuring potential trends or issues are identified for potential action or resolution.

Application Process

This is an unclassified position. Human Resources will check your application to make sure you meet the minimum qualifications. HR helps the hiring department decide who to follow up with for interviews and then a job offer. Most of our communication with candidates is through email. Regularly check the email address you gave us in your job profile. Watch your Spam folder, just in case.If we offer you a job, you must pass a drug screen and background check before the offer becomes final. Prior criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify you from employment; the County looks at criminal convictions on a case-by-case basis using the guidelines in Chapter 306 of the County Code.


Cuyahoga County is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, which includes building an environment that respects the individual, promotes innovation and offers opportunities for all employees to develop to their full potential. A diverse workforce helps the County realize its full potential. The County benefits from the creativity and innovation that results when people with different experiences, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds work together. The County is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all individuals regardless of race, color, ancestry, national origin, language, religion, citizenship status, sex, age, marital status, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity/expression, military/veteran status, disability, genetic information, membership in a collective bargaining unit, status with regard to public assistance, or political affiliation. If you need assistance applying or participating in any part of the candidate experience, contact Human Resources at 216-443-7190 and ask to speak with a talent acquisition team member.