Director of Human Resources | Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. - Milwaukee Office

Director of Human Resources

The Director of Human Resources (HR Director) is directly responsible for the overall administration, coordination and evaluation of the human resources function in regards to services, policies and programs at Legal Action of Wisconsin.  The primary objective of the HR Director is to assist with the development of a superior workforce, oversee human resources tasks and facilitate a positive work environment which values diversity and inclusion plus emphasizes quality, continuous improvement and high performance.  The HR Director works closely with the Executive Director, other managers and supervisors to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities on personnel matters. 

This position is based in Legal Action’s Milwaukee office.  This is a full-time position. 

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.

Legal Action of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, and other sources.  Legal Action provides free legal aid to about 13,500 low-income persons annually in the southern 39 counties of Wisconsin with offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, and La Crosse.  In addition, Legal Action operates a statewide farmworkers’ project.  Legal Action attorneys have expertise in a range of substantive areas, but the majority of our work is in the areas of housing, public benefits, removing barriers to employment, and family law.  Legal Action currently has a staff of 120 employees.  

Key Responsibilities: The HR Director will be assisted in the position’s responsibilities by an administrative secretary and other accounting/administrative staff.

  1. Promotes a positive work environment which encourages open communications and feedback through such avenues as firm-wide meetings,  employee surveys and focus groups,  on-on-one meetings, staff recognition announcements/events, an internal newsletter and firm-wide welcoming of new employees.     
  2. Leads the firm’s efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the firm operations including but not limited to the delivery of services and staffing.
  3. Determines and recommends employee relations practices necessary to establish a positive employer-employee relationship and promote a high level of employee morale and motivation.  Conducts periodic surveys to measure employee satisfaction and employee engagement.
  4. Coaches and trains managers in their communication, feedback, recognition, and interaction responsibilities with employees who report to them.  Makes certain that managers know how to successfully, ethically, honestly, and legally communicate with employees.  
  5. Conducts investigations when employee complaints or concerns are brought forth.
  6. Partners with management for consistent communication of human resources policies, procedures, programs, and laws. 
  7. Regularly reviews and makes recommendations to the Executive Director and Board of Directors for the improvement of the firm’s policies, procedures and practices on personnel matters.
  8. Maintains knowledge of human resources trends and employment legislation to ensure the firm’s compliance.
  9. Maintains responsibility for the firm’s compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to all personnel matters including but not limited to FMLA, COBRA, ADA, HIPAA, ACA, OSHA, ERISA and IRCA.
  10. Develops and maintains a human resources information system (HRIS) that meets the personnel information needs of the firm.
  11. Primary responsibility for managing and administering the fringe benefit programs offered to Legal Action employees including health insurance,  dental insurance, long-term disability insurance, 401(k)/profit sharing retirement plan, life insurance,  workers compensation, unemployment insurance  and flexible benefit plan. As needed, establish and work with staff committees to consider enhancements and changes to the firm’s benefits.  
  12. The HR Director will work closely with other administrative and accounting staff  to coordinate the firm’s payroll,  leave, timekeeping and tax reporting systems.   The HR Director will assist with garnishment issues, Fair Labor Standard Act compliance and other issues that bridge accounting and personnel. 
  13. Function as employer’s representative and lead negotiator for three union collective bargaining agreements covering various groups of employees.  Oversees the day-to-day administration of the employer’s obligations under the three agreements.  Works to enhance labor/management relations and dialog.
  14. Overall responsibility for the firm’s civil rights, equal opportunity and affirmative action efforts and compliance including preparation of the annual work force analysis, EEO-1 submittal,  Civil Rights Compliance plan,  Affirmative Action Plan, Limited English Proficiency, payroll equity review, ADA compliance, and MBE/DBE/WBE efforts.  Responsible for submittal of any needed documents to federal, state and local agencies.
  15. Responsible for the firm’s salary and wage administration including preparation of any needed salary/fringe benefit comparability analysis plus preparation and implementation of the annual salary administration plan.  Issuance of hire and salary change letters.  
  16. Responsible for the firm’s compliance and administration of the federal and Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Acts.  Works closely with the Administrative Secretary in responding to requests for leave. 
  17. Oversees and coordinates the firm’s recruiting and hiring process including the drafting of job announcements and spearheading the expansion of the firm’s recruitment outreach efforts.  Working with managers and staff, develops and implements strategies to increase the diversity and inclusion of Legal Action’s staff. 
  18. Responsible for the on-boarding, welcoming and orientation of new employees.  
  19. Working with other managers, the HR Director is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the firm’s performance evaluation systems. 
  20. Maintains the employee handbook, updating as needed including policy development and documentation as it pertains to human resources policies.
  21. With the assistance of the Executive Director and other managers, handles employee termination and discipline matters. 
  22. Consults with legal counsel as appropriate, or as directed by Executive Director, on personnel matters.  
  23. Other duties may be assigned from time to time.


  1. Broad knowledge and experience in employment law and practices, administration of compensation and benefits, organizational planning, employee relations and other aspects of human resources management
  2. Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business, or related discipline required and Master’s degree preferred. 
  3. At least five (5) years of experience in a professional human resources role with work experience across all HR disciplines, including employment, benefits, compensation, employee and labor relations, training and development.  Experience working with a diverse workforce. Labor union experience helpful.
  4. Proficiency in application of relevant federal and state laws and regulations (e.g. FLSA, ADA, EEO. HIPAA,  Section 125, ERISA, FMLA, COBRA)
  5. Prior experience working with a non-profit organization is a plus.
  6. Active affiliation with appropriate human resources networks and organizations and ongoing community involvement preferred. 
  7. Excellent oral and written communications skills. Demonstrated presentation/facilitation skills.  Ability to work collaboratively and communicate effectively at all levels of the organization.    
  8. Appreciation of the importance of civil legal aid and the civil justice system, commitment to Legal Action’s mission of equal justice for low-income people.   
  9. Ability to forge positive relationships and develop positive communication systems with Legal Action employees & managers,  service providers,  Legal Action Board of Directors members, and other outside parties. 
  10. Excellent analytical, problem solving, planning, and project management skills; detailed oriented.  Strong time management skills and demonstrated ability to manage multiple deadlines.  Ability to self-motivate, work in teams, and be flexible within a fast-paced and changing environment.
  11. Excellent interpersonal and coaching skills.
  12. Demonstrated ability to lead and develop human resources staff.
  13. Demonstrated ability to serve as a successful participant in a management group that provides firm leadership and direction.
  14. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, and Power Point) Knowledge of databases and HRIS software is helpful. 
  15. Ability to handle confidential information in a professional manner.  
  16. Ability to regularly travel to Legal Action’s offices, and statewide and nationally occasionally. 

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; and taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift or move up to 20 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.

Salary and Benefits:

The salary range for the position is $60,000 - $90,000.  Starting salary will depend upon experience and qualifications.  The position will include a full fringe benefits package.  It currently includes:  fully paid health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance; a retirement plan; and four weeks of annual leave per year.  The position is subject to a probationary period of up to one year.  The position is governed by the Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Personnel Policies. These policies are subject to unilateral change by Legal Action’s Board of Directors.  As with any Legal Action position, there is no guaranteed period of employment and employment is “at will,” subject to termination at any time.