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Director, Employee and Labor Relations

Non Profit Organization

This is a Full-time position in New York, NY posted December 13, 2021.

Breaking Ground operates nearly 4,000 units of housing across New York City, along with housing in upstate New York and Connecticut.

Supportive housing
– affordable housing paired with services designed to help people maintain their homes for the long-term
– is widely recognized as a proven and cost-effective solution to chronic homelessness.

But we didnt stop at providing housing.

Breaking Grounds programs and services help people experiencing street homelessness
– especially those who have been on the streets the longest
– to come indoors.

Through our Street to Home outreach program and transitional housing resources, we help people get, and stay, on the path to a permanent home.

The Director, Employee and Labor Relations plays a critical role in implementing and overseeing the strategy for Employee Relations (ER) best practices by leading a team of two direct reports who are responsible for the development, implementation and management of scalable, centralized employee relations policies, processes, and tools that maximize employee and manager satisfaction, while minimizing related risks.

The Director is a member of the Human Resources (HR) Leadership team and will report directly to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources. This role requires strong partnerships with HR partners, Legal, and people leaders to formulate, recommend and execute both proactive and reactive solutions for employee and labor relations issues in a fair and empathetic way.

We are looking for leaders that are energized by creative and critical thinking, building and sustaining high-performing teams, getting results the right way, and fostering continuous learning. 

Essential Job Functions

• Leads and facilitates the Employee Relations and Labor Relations related functions. 

• Maintains, develops, recommends, and implements objectives, policies, and procedures. 

• Communicates with employees regarding employee and or labor relations concerns; and provides guidance and recommendations for resolution of issues. 

• Counsel employees on concerns related to applicable Equal Employment Opportunity laws including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and other similar federal and state laws. 

• Assists managers and supervisors in understanding and implementing organization policies related to performance, discipline, and related topics. 

• Create scalable and sustainable best practice employee relations and labor relations strategies and the framework for how to execute them to ensure a positive and effective employee experience.

• As an employee advocate, proactively conduct environmental scans to identify insights and escalate themes to organization leaders to improve the employee experience.

This may include holding virtual or onsite focus groups. 

• Coach and guide people leaders, and other employees regarding compliance concerns, performance management, and investigation processes/techniques. 

• Identify impacts of ineffective or inconsistent management practices through monitoring and investigations of employee relations issues and make recommendations for remediation. 

• Monitor and analyze external trends, regulatory changes, and legal updates to take appropriate actions to help mitigate risk. 

• Collaborate with leaders to proactively respond to shifting organization needs and associated employee implications. 

• Partner with legal and people leaders to provide consultation on discipline and termination issues. 

• Use data to identify employee relations trends by leveraging metrics to diagnose organizational effectiveness and proactively develop the training and process improvements for prevention. 

• Analyze exit interview data to make recommendations for improvement.

• Build and lead a high performing team of professionals, with a passion for seeing others grow through coaching, mentoring, and career development. 

• Manage all confidential COVID-19 reporting. 

• Other duties as assigned. 


• Bachelors degree or equivalent experience. SPHR or SHRM-SCP certification highly preferred. 

• Requires at least 10 years of prior relevant experience including 5 years of management experience, preferably in a unionized environment. 

• Strong organizational skills and ability to manage competing, high priority demands during times of organizational change. 

• Strong creative problem solving skills. 

• Expert level ability to lead, coach, consult with, and influence organization executives towards success and effectiveness with positive employee experience and outcomes. 

• Successful record of creating, improving, and executing programs at scale, ability to drive and measure program effectiveness and high levels of customer satisfaction. 

• Experience working with quantitative and qualitative data; deriving the “so what” from the findings and have the numbers tell a compelling, accurate, and relevant story. 

• Strong knowledge of employment law (EEO, FMLA, ADA, etc.), investigations, with an emphasis on investigations of workplace complaints required.

• Ability to work effectively as part of a team.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 

• Demonstrated experience in MS Office Suites and HR Systems.

• Exemplary detail orientation and analytical skills. 

Physical Requirements:

• Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer. 

This position will be on a hybrid work schedule, two days onsite, three days remote work.

Breaking Ground reserves the right to change work schedules to meet organizational needs. 

Consistent with NYC’s mandate, all Breaking Ground employees, interns, volunteers and subcontractors are required to be in receipt of an FDA authorized and/or approved COVID-19 vaccination and provide a one-time verification of immunization as a condition of employment.

Individuals that have a medical consideration or sincerely held religious beliefs or practices that could prevent them from complying with the Vaccine Mandate may request a reasonable accommodation.