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Senior HR Investigator

City of Seattle

Position Description

The Human Resources Investigations Unit (HRIU) is a new team within the Seattle Department of Human Resources, created by Executive Order of the Mayor in September 2018. The HRIU is charged with conducting equitable, consistent, timely, thorough, and empathetic intakes, investigations, and communications with a focus on conflict resolution and employee satisfaction.

The Senior HR Investigator is the first line of communication with City of Seattle employees. This is an incredible opportunity to provide a compassionate and effective resource for City employees, so they can do their best work. As this is a new program, the Sr. HR Investigator will have the exciting opportunity to work collaboratively to shape processes and determine best practices for workplace investigations and employee experience. 

This is a highly-specialized role, requiring specialized knowledge and technical proficiency, particularly when performing the day to day functions of conducting intake or investigation activities, including drafting reports and communicating findings. The successful Sr. HR Investigator will enjoy juggling multiple tasks throughout a typical day, which may include scheduling and handling intake interviews, conducting ongoing active investigations, addressing conflicts between employees, collaborating with HR representatives across the City of Seattle, Law Department, Senior HR Leadership and more.

This position will report to the HRIU Director.


Job Responsibilities

This role is highly independent, requiring technical decision-making with limited oversight. This Sr. HR Investigator's reports and advice will be heavily relied upon by the department in making policy decisions impacting employees. These issues are very often highly sensitive, political, and with public visibility.

Key Responsibilities will include:

Manage and track multiple intake and investigations at any given time with competing priorities, while handling other projects simultaneously. Conduct intakes and effectively understand from the nature of the concerns raised, whether the City or department are implicated, and make recommendations whether the HRIU should initiate an investigation or not, or to refer the matter back to the department or other agency, as appropriate.Identify the relevant scope of complaints of violation of City policy, determine the evidentiary basis and applicable evidence to determine whether alleged misconduct occurred, using legal standards of proof, and whether facts support a determination that City policies were violated.Work collaboratively with the Law Department and coordinate with HR staff in home departments for coordinating or conducting all investigative activities and delivering workplace investigation services across the City in a consistent, fair, and equitable manner.  Required to identify appropriate computer forensic data and information, for example, as well as understand how to interpret employee information and data.Analyze whether City policies or practices have a disparate impact on any given protected group, or whether any given behavior violates Citywide Values and Expectations, or Department Workplace Expectations.Report writing and documentation of intake and investigation activities.Provide testimony in court as the subject matter expert on Citywide investigations, specific to City workplace investigations processes generally and any given investigation report issued.Lead trainings on workplace investigations. 



In addition to the ability to perform the tasks described above, you will need to possess the following required qualifications (or a combination of education, training or experience which provides an equivalent background required to perform the work of the class): 

Education: Bachelor's degree in Human Resources, Business/Management, Public Administration or a related field. A Law Degree (JD) is desired. 

Experience: 5 or more years of progressively responsible experience in one or more of the following: Employment Law, Employee Relations, Investigations, Human Resources, Civil Rights Advocacy, Legal Advocacy, and/or Mediation / Alternative Dispute Resolution.   

Specifically, you will be prepared to successfully take on this role if you have the following: 


High level of empathy, sympathy and emotional intelligence. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.Excellent time management skills and ability to be adaptable. Strong attention to detail for documentation and report writing.Creative thinking, exceptional problem solving, and good judgment.  Strong report writing and accurate note taking.Public speaking and ability to lead trainings. 


Knowledge of:

Deep understanding of EEO, HR, and employment laws. Public sector employment rules. Labor Relations principles.Conflict resolution and/or alternative dispute resolution is desired. 


Additional Information

This position is classified as a Strategic Advisor II – Exempt.

To be considered for this position, you must submit your complete application, attaching your resume and cover letter, at no later than 4:00PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Questions? Please contact Nicolette Hornbeck at

This hiring process involves a background check of conviction and arrest records in compliance with Seattle's Fair Chance Employment Ordinance, SMC 14.17. Applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain or correct background information.

Who may apply: This position is open to all qualified candidates that meet the minimum qualifications. The City of Seattle values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The City encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experiences.

To learn more about Seattle Department of Human Resources, please visit:

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