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Employee Relations Manager

Woodland, California, United States
August 13, 2018

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Thomas J. Willis

**** ****** *** ****, **** ****

West Sacramento, CA 95691

916-***-**** ●

Organizational Development • Equal Employment Opportunity • Discrimination Investigations

Employee Relations • Labor Relations • Employment Law • HR Policies and Procedures


STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS), Elk Grove, California ● May 2017- Present

Staff Services Manager I, Health Care Employee Relations Officer

Responsible for providing guidance and expertise to management and supervisors in areas involving

employee performance management and administration of the department’s disciplinary process impacting mental health, dental, and medical staff at the institutions and within CCHCS.

Prepares formal adverse action packages, Absent Without Leave separations and rejections during


Participate in the settlement agreement process by being responsible for negotiating, writing and

obtaining approval for Stipulated Agreements. Represent the department at State Personnel Board

(SPB) and California Department of Human Resources Appeal Hearings, including presentation of the

case, witness preparations, cross examination, etc. In cooperation the Legal Affairs Division staff,

prepare written oral arguments and briefs on appeals to the SPB, interview witnesses and assemble


Research, analyze, and advise management on the proper application of Government Codes, California

Code of Regulations and Department Operations Manual.

STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Prison Industry Authority (PIA), Folsom, California ● August 2014 - May 2017

Staff Services Manager I, Employee Relations Officer and Labor Relations Specialist

Serves as subject matter expert to management and supervisors in areas involving employee performance and administration of the department’s disciplinary process. Provide recommendations to management on application of adverse actions/rejection during probation.

Write and prepare formal adverse action packages and rejection on probation actions.

Represents the Department at State Personnel Board (SPB) appeal hearings, including presentation of

the case, witness preparation, etc., in conjunction with Legal Affairs Staff.

Prepare progressive discipline Letters of Instruction/Counseling.

Investigate and make recommendations to management regarding disposition of second level grievances

arising out of labor agreement administration, or grievances. Review request for ATO, prepare required notices, and serve as the point of contact with Labor Union regarding meetings or other activities.

Advise management on institutional policy, i.e., proper application of California Government Code,

California Code of Regulations, Department Operations Manual (DOM).

CITY OF AUSTIN, Austin, Texas ● May 2013 – May 2014

Employee Relations Officer

Design, coordinate, implement, and monitor large-scale HR programs including acting as subject matter expert for management and employee groups. Identify, analyze, remediate, and provide follow-up for problems within program, as well as, functioning as solid executive influencer relating to development and enforcement of policies and procedures. Evaluate metrics such as, attrition and grievances, and administer successful solutions driving retention and engagement. Ensure full compliance with regulatory laws and reporting requirements. Conduct training instructing on changes in policies, personnel procedures, and classification programs.

Provided direct client employee relations and training services to seven (7) City departments including; Health & Human Services Department, Park and Recreation Department, Watershed Protection Department, Public Works Department, Transportation Department, Animal Shelter Department and Planning Review and Development Department.

INTERACTIVE LIFE FORMS, LLC, Austin, Texas ● June 2012 – May 2013

Human Resources Manager

Lead HR activities for up to 300+ employees, across two (2) states, including hiring, classification, payroll, discipline, terminations, and personnel changes. Maintained consistent communication with employees at all levels regarding policy interpretation. Audited documents ensuring accuracy and full compliance including I-9, Leave of Absence (FMLA) and Workers’ Compensation. Conducted EEO investigations and prepared EEOC responses.

Improved productivity by delivering Conflict resolution to department managers and line staff.

Developed and implemented first company Employee Handbook defining job roles, policies and procedures.

Enhanced management and productivity by sourcing over 100 applicants and narrowing to short-list for fulfillment of vacant Warehouse General Manager position.

Partnered with owner/CEO to offer enhanced employee benefits including 401k accounts.

CITY OF AUSTIN, Austin, Texas ● Temporary Assignment April 2012 – June 2012

Investigator, Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office

Examined and investigated alleged violations of equal opportunity laws and policies as they relate to employment, housing, public service and public accommodation. Interviewed complainant’s and reviewed documents,

analyze employee data, and reviewing real estate transactions. Conducted fact finding, settlement, and mediation conferences, resolving discrimination complaints.

On-boarded, due to comprehensive civil rights background, for temporary assignment to close out back log of cases increasing federal funding for resolved cases.

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO (CCSF), San Francisco, California ● April 2001 – September 2011

Human Rights Commission (HRC), Senior Manager – Employment & Housing, Non-Discrimination Unit

Directed and supervised investigations, mediations and settlements regarding complaints of discrimination filed directly with the Human Rights Commission or through other government agencies by applying conflict resolution and investigative techniques. Qualified businesses for city contracts through Equal Benefits Ordinance. Developed, coordinated, and delivered training programs in EEO, ADA reasonable accommodation, FEHA, workforce diversity, harassment prevention, internal investigation of discrimination complaints. Paired with other senior managers constructing and implementing departmental goals and priorities identifying proper allocation of resources. Led HR functions including participation in budget development and budget administration for Division and Department including development of new initiatives, identification of potential funding sources and strategies, work order development, and negotiation.

Successful negotiations and consulting activities with employee Labor Union organizations.

Key contributor to design and implementation of non-discrimination San Francisco Equal Benefits Ordinance.

CCSF Department of Child Support Services (DCSS), Human Resources Manager

Oversaw entirety of Human Resources Division including payroll, training, classification, compensation, employee relations, grievance management, disciplinary documentation, PeopleSoft, requisitions, recruitment and selection, appointment processing, ADA accommodations, FMLA, CFRA and other leaves of absences, equal employment opportunity, workers’ compensation and communications. Met regularly with DCSS staff and management identifying and resolving EEO problems and work environment conflicts, recommended final decisions regarding HR operations and administrative procedures, and handled complex human resources issues, and EEO complaints. Supervised internal investigations, conduced mediation, and settlement activities.

Coordinated with City Department of Human Resources, Workers’ Compensation Division and the Third Party Administrator regarding claims, reports and costs, as well as, with City Attorney and Civil Service Commission regarding legal matters.

CCSF General Services Agency (GSA) – Human Resources Manager, Equal Employment Opportunity / Workers’ Compensation Division/Return-to-Work

Implemented, directed, monitored, and evaluated EEO, ADA and harassment training programs for 2,500 employees across 26 individual city departments under the umbrella of General Services Agency. Prepared and reviewed all workers’ compensation reports for accuracy, responded to inquiries regarding workers’ compensation claims from injured workers, supervisors/managers, safety coordinators and third party administrators, and monitored all modified/light duty assignments. Reviewed and reconciled monthly workers’ compensation charge back and loss summary reports. Directed and monitored AOE/COE and SUBROSA Investigations. Met with employee organizations and actively participated on bargaining teams during labor contract negotiations. Investigated internal discrimination issues, as well as, response to federal and state regulatory agencies claims.

Provided over 250 Harassment Prevention Training courses for management and non-management employees in compliance with California Assembly Bill (AB) 1825, requiring harassment training for all companies employing 50 or more employees.

Manager, Equal Employment Opportunity Division Department of Public Works (DPW)

Interpreted and implemented varying levels of EEO laws, policies and procedures in response to inquiries from departmental employees, internal divisions, applicants, and the public. Conducted internal investigations and responded to charges of discrimination filed with the state and federal regulatory agencies and handled settlement management of discrimination complaints.

Implemented bureau-wide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and delivered key contributions developing, designing and implementation of the department’s EEO Training program.

Served as Departmental ADA Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator.

Cleared $15M in pending discrimination lawsuits.

Manager, Equal Employment Opportunity/Workers’ Compensation Division

Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)

Supervised and directed daily activities for four (4) professional staff assigned to EEO Division. Investigated complaints and discrimination, provided EEO training to include sexual harassment training. Prepared, updated and monitored department Workforce Diversity Plan, as well as, supervised maintenance and implementation of community outreach programs.

Served as the Workers’ Compensation/Return-to-work Program Manager.

Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator – Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA)

Informed and advised employees on federal, state, local EEO laws, rules and regulations. Responded to inquiries; conducted internal investigations and responded to charges of discrimination filed with the state and federal regulatory agencies and monitored settlements.

Supported EEO Manager in conducting department wide sexual harassment training courses.


STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)

Sacramento, California ● November 1995 – April 2001

District Administrator, Sacramento District Office

Oversaw all aspects of district office including employment and housing discrimination investigations, denial of FMLA and CFRA leave complaints, mediations, budget and financial management, staffing, training and employee relations. Coordinated with other department heads regarding fiscal management, governmental relations, legal, and human resources.

Special Consultant / Investigator III

Northern California Region

Consultant / Investigator II

Sacramento District Office, San Jose District Office, Oakland District Office

Honorable Service (9 Years)

United States Navy - E-6

Human Resources/Personnel Supervisor

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