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Director, Office of Labor Standards

Position Description

The City of Seattle, a leader on wage, labor and workforce practices is recruiting for a compassionate, collaborative leader committed to equity and social justice to lead the Office of Labor Standards (OLS). The mission of OLS is to advance labor standards through thoughtful community and business engagement, strategic enforcement, and innovative policy development, with a commitment to race and social justice.  The work of OLS (Download PDF reader) increases compliance with labor standards that are designed to address income inequality, protect public health and safety, promote equal access to employment benefits, reduce the impact of criminal history in employment decisions for people of color, and advance fair treatment in the workplace.  The City’s groundbreaking labor standards, from the Minimum Wage Ordinance to  COVID-19 Gig Worker Protections support over 500,000 workers, including 140,000 low wage workers and 60,000 businesses.


Job Responsibilities

Appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the City Council, the Director serves as the executive authority of the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) and is responsible for the development, administration and enforcement of the City's labor standards. The Director reports to the Mayor and is a member of the Mayor's Cabinet. The work of the Director includes:

  • Increase access to living wage jobs through enforcement of City Labor Standards.
    Provide executive oversight of all OLS investigations.  Reviews OLS investigation Findings and Conclusions; file Director's Charges; assesses appropriate remedies and penalties; and negotiate settlements in conjunction with the City Attorney's Office.
  • Outreach and education to workers and businesses. Foster collaboration between OLS and the community to develop awareness and understanding of workers rights, and facilitate resolution of labor standards violations.
  • Compliance assistance for business.  Provide a range of resources to help employers to comply with Seattle labor laws. Activities include direct outreach to businesses, providing culturally appropriate information to businesses, and answering employers' questions about Seattle's laws.
  • Promotion of racial and social equity. Advance labor standards through thoughtful community and business engagement, strategic enforcement and innovative policy development.
  • Collaboration across City departments. Work in partnership with key City departments, such as the Office for Civil Rights, Office for Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and the Office of Inter-Governmental Affairs, to plan for and develop labor standards. 
  • Effective and efficient operations. Direct "best in class" administrative and operational functions that demonstrate excellence in budgeting and fiscal management; program and project planning; policy development; technology; marketing and civic engagement; and performance-based management.
  • Development of valued partners. Collaborate with community stakeholders, agency partners, businesses, labor organizations, and funding workers to increase access to employment benefits and ensure fair treatment within workplaces. Represent the City with government stakeholders, labor, community activists, businesses, executive-level leadership with non-profits, and other important partners. 
  • Program management excellence. Manage all business functions and compliance activities, including improving processes, streamlining reporting, and continuing to engagement of stakeholders. 
  • Inspire a culture of excellence. Establish performance benchmarks, design and implement quality controls, and cultivate leadership through systematic professional development for staff.



A successful candidate will be a compassionate, innovative, and experienced leader with a demonstrated commitment to addressing income inequality. They must possess diverse public and/or private sector experience with knowledge of labor standards, wage and hour compliance, employment law and public policy. Their work must be centered in racial, social, and economic justice and demonstrate strong operational ability as well as analytical skills and understanding of the employment relationship. The ideal candidate must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills with a variety of audiences in multiple settings. Legislative advocacy, effective communications and relationship building will all be required to effectively lead and advocate for the City. The candidate must have a reputation for exercising a high level of tact, good judgment, discretion, and diplomacy and have cooperative working relationships with diverse groups of people. Additionally, the successful candidate must have the ability to:

  • Manage complex agency, community, and political relationships  
  • Effectively resolve conflicts to the benefit of all parties  
  • Build strategic coalitions  
  • Participate in complex collaborations and lead major projects  Influence strategic partners and stakeholders  
  • Convene community and business leaders and facilitate project meetings 


Success in the role requires technical expertise in wage and hour law and policy coupled with experience in applying that expertise as an litigator, policy analyst or regulator. The ideal candidate has earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) and litigated wage and hour claims.

Please note this job advertisement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Additional Information

Please click on the "Apply" button below to view the job posting and learn more.

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