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General Counsel

Affiliate: Washington Federation of State Employees Council 28
Location:Olympia, WA
Salary:Starts at $99,554
Posting Date:May 23, 2017

Who We Are:

The Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) has a long history of fighting for workers’ rights and employee benefits while tackling social justice issues with passion and energy. The WFSE, Council 28 has over 40,000 members has been operating in the state capital for over 72 years. Our staff fight for fairness and equality as well as ensuring the hard working men and women of state government, higher education institutions, and public service workers get better pay, better health care, better retirement, and a healthy work environment. There’s more to accomplish, and with the right personnel, we believe we can accomplish it. Come join our team and be a part of a larger mission that will make an impact for years to come. Learn more about who we are at: wfse.org.

What We’re Looking For:

The Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is recruiting to fill the position of General Counsel. This position serves as the chief legal counsel for the Executive Director, Executive Board, and council staff and is the primary subject matter expert on collective bargaining law, employment law, election law, and other miscellaneous legal issues affecting the council’s business. Reviews all potentially actionable situations and recommends to executive director whether to engage in legal action.

This position is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and provides daily legal advice and counsel regarding CBA’s and law regarding representation as well as negotiations. Responsible for the interpretation of all private and public sector collective bargaining agreements taking into consideration all relevant laws and rules, arbitration decisions, case law and legislative changes affecting CBA’s.  Responsible for remaining current on all state and federal legal decisions and law changes which could affect the council in any way.

The incumbent acts as chief liaison for outside litigation and is the point of contact for managing and working collaboratively with outside counsel where necessary for all outside litigation except for PERC.  Responsible for working with insurance counsel when council is defendant in any claim. Represents the Council and membership at arbitration hearings stemming from CBA’s before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Public Employees Relations Commission at the superior court level, and at the court of appeals on issues regarding representation as well as unfair labor practices.

Additional duties include:

  • Acts as technical resource and advisor for collective bargaining agreement negotiations. 
  • Provides legal advice to ensure compliance with the Public Disclosure Commission and the Federal Election Commission with regard to all political activities.
  • Responsible for managing and responding to all discovery requests made to the council, acts as primary liaison for all attorneys contacting the council regarding legal issues.
  • Assists the Human Resources Director by reviewing internal policies for legality and acts as an advisor to the HR Director for employment laws such as: Title VII, FLSA, FMLA, ADAAA and Washington Law against Discrimination.
  • May assist with confidential investigations regarding internal employment matters.

Required Qualifications:

  • Graduation from an accredited law school with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.
  • Licensed to practice law in the state of Washington.
  • At least four (4) years of litigation experience.
  • At least eight (8) years’ experience in labor and employment law.
  • Knowledge of public unions and applicable laws.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Masters of Law (LL.M.) Degree.
  • Direct working experience practicing law in a union environment.

Special Note:

This position is overtime exempt and will be required to work some weekends.  Some travel is required.  Must have a valid driver’s license, use of personal vehicle, and valid vehicle insurance.  Release of driving record required prior to interview.  Out of state candidates must provide drive record at the time of interview.  Benefits include annual and sick leave, $150 cell phone allowance, medical/dental, life, and long term disability insurance, and holidays. Salary range is $99,554 to $115,246 and will be determined commensurate with experience. 

How to Apply:

To be considered for this position(s), applicants must submit a resume, letter of interest, and at least three (3) professional references to:  resumes@wfse.org. Your letter of interest should clearly explain how your experience, training, and education make you a viable and competitive candidate for this position.

This position is open until filled; however, first round of application assessments will be conducted fourteen (14) days after the initial job posting date. It is to the applicant's advantage to apply as early as possible.

The Washington Federation of State Employees is committed to providing equal employment opportunity and equal access in a non-discriminatory manner to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, creed, color, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, political affiliation, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any real or perceived sensory, mental, or physical disability.

Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or for an alternative format may contact Human Resource Director, Ben McDonald at (360) 352-7603 or benm@wfse.org. Persons of disability or those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388. The WFSE complies with the employment eligibility verification requirements of the Federal Form I-9. The selected candidate must be able to provide proof of identity and eligibility to work in the United States consistent with the requirements of that form on the first day of employment.

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