Senior Manager, Employee and Labor Relations

New York City, NY
Full Time

The Senior Manager of Employee and Labor Relations will play a critical role in managing and enhancing the Whitney’s employee and labor relations programs. Reporting to the Chief HR Officer and collaborating with the Associate General Counsel, this role will be responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining a proactive and consistent approach to employee relations, labor relations, and compliance with labor law, to ensure that the Whitney promotes a positive work environment, ensures fair treatment of employees, and complies with labor laws and regulations. The ideal candidate will have experience in preventing and resolving employee-related issues, a strong background in employment and labor law, and a commitment to promoting a collegial work culture.

As part of their Employee Relations responsibilities, the Senior Manager will:

  • Develop and implement employee relations strategies and programs to foster a positive work environment
  • Identify and document employee-related issues, which can include disputes, conflicts, misconduct, discrimination, harassment, or any other matter affecting the employment relationship
  • Investigate cases efficiently and satisfactorily by promptly gathering information and interviewing complainants, reported witnesses, respondents, and other relevant parties in order to assess the validity of claims or concerns, including collaborating with other departments or external experts when necessary
  • Keep stakeholders informed about the progress of the case and any decisions or actions taken, and provide support, which can include guidance on the process, information, and/ or counseling
  • Work toward a fair and satisfactory resolution to each issue, which can involve mediation, conflict resolution techniques, disciplinary actions, or other appropriate measures to address the problem and restore a congenial workplace
  • Ensure that all actions taken are in line with Museum policies, procedures, and legal requirements, to help reduce legal risk and maintain consistency in employee treatment
  • Maintain detailed records of each case, including the nature of the issue, the involved parties, the timeline of events, and any relevant documents or evidence, and generate reports to track and analyze trends in workplace issues in order to identify areas for improvement and develop preventive strategies.

As part of their Labor Relations responsibilities, the Senior Manager will:

  • Manage and maintain positive and constructive relationships with all five of the Whitney’s labor unions, including the stewards and Unit Chair
  • Master the provisions of all five collective bargaining agreements, and attempt to identify and resolve complaints before they rise to formal grievances
  • Participate in disciplinary meetings
  • Coordinate collective bargaining negotiations, as well as coordinate contract administration, grievance resolution, and disciplinary policies
  • Stay updated on labor laws, regulations, and industry trends to ensure compliance
  • Calendar all key dates and provide required notifications to unions (e.g. monthly rosters, notifications of personnel actions) within required deadlines
  • Serve as a member of the Labor-Management Committee(s).

For all employee and labor relations matters, the Senior Manager will:

  • Develop, update, and communicate HR policies, procedures, and guidelines related to employee and labor relations
  • Create and socialize resources (policies, guidelines, toolkits, FAQs), and identify and/ or conduct trainings for managers and staff in order to promote a culture of fairness, equity, and respect in the workplace through education and awareness programs
  • Provide guidance and support to managers and staff involved in employee or labor relations issues
  • Monitor Museum compliance with Federal, state and local labor laws and regulations, keeping abreast of changes and proactively addressing potential issues
  • Review case management processes and data for continuous improvement by identifying trends, learning from past cases, and adapting to changes in the workplace and employment laws
  • Prepare and present reports to the Chief HR Officer and senior management with recommendations for action.


  • A Bachelors degree or equivalent related life experience
  • Minimum of 7 years of successful experience in employee and labor relations, including experience with labor unions, labor negotiations and contract administration
  • Demonstrated experience in handling internal employee investigations and managing employee conflict
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local labor laws and regulations
  • Creative and resourceful, with strong interpersonal, negotiation, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to quickly and effectively build relationships with colleagues, department managers and labor union personnel
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills; Spanish language proficiency a plus
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive information with discretion
  • Certification in HR or labor relations (e.g., SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP) and/ or related coursework is preferred.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Estimated salary range of $105,000 - $120,000 per annum
  • Medical, Dental, Vision, 403(B) elections
  • Generous PTO benefits
  • Commuter benefits - parking and mass transit
  • Admission to world-renowned museums across the city and nationally
  • Pet insurance and discounted membership for Citibike

The advertised pay scale reflects the good faith minimum and maximum salary range for this role. The advertised pay scale is not a promise of a particular wage for any specific employee. The specific compensation offered to a candidate may be dependent on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the candidate’s experience, education, special licensing or qualifications, and other factors.

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you’re new to arts and culture administration, returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or take the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in the arts and culture space and what you hope to bring to this role.

About the Whitney:
The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for 86 years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists themselves, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.

EEO Statement:
The Whitney Museum of American Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum does not discriminate because of age, sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, partnership status, veteran status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, or any other factor prohibited by law. The Museum hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled. The Museum encourages all qualified candidates to apply for vacant positions at all levels. This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.


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