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Career Story: Labor Relations Investigator For A State Agency

Labor Relations Investigator For A State Agency

Job Title: Personnel Administrator

Type of Company: I work for the state of New York at an agency that serves the developmentally disabled.

Education: BA, Creative Arts & Human Services, Russell Sage College (Troy, NY)

Previous Experience: I started working for the state of New York as a recreation therapist then was promoted to a senior recreation therapist. I wanted to work part-time so for fifteen years I was the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator. I then became an investigator. I investigated allegations of abuse against the people we serve. I then decided to use that experience in investigation to move to labor relations in the Personnel Office.

Job Tasks: I work in labor relations in the personnel office at a New York state agency that serves the developmentally disabled. I track allegations of abuse that are investigated by agency investigators. I interrogate employees against whom allegations of misconduct or incompetence have been lodged. I assist with the disciplinary process, writing pre-clearances, serving Notices of Discipline and terminating employees who don't meet our performance standards.

I also work as a liaison to the labor unions that represent the 1300 employees in our agency and ensure that the contracts are followed and the employee's rights are not violated. I review performance evaluations and counseling memos and provide training for supervisors on how to effectively counsel and evaluate employees. I monitor employee time and attendance issues and impose discipline if necessary. I attend arbitration and time-and-attendance hearings as they're convened. I am also on many committees and am required to attend meetings and report on agenda items.

I assist management in determining appropriate training or discipline for employee misconduct. I monitor employee arrests and meet with employees to determine if their arrests are related to their jobs and if any disciplinary actions need to be taken by the agency.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of my job is firing an employee when it is not necessarily justified. I also deal with a lot of negativity and conflict on a daily basis.

The part of my job that I enjoy the most is interviewing and interrogating employees. I enjoy talking to them about issues, investigating problems, and trying to figure out solutions to those problems.

Job Tips:
1. People find this job difficult because you have to ask people blunt and difficult questions. You do not get straight or truthful answers by beating around the bush.

2. Not everyone will like you. As a matter of fact, in this job, a lot of people won't like you.

3. You often have to do things that you may not agree with or feel comfortable about doing.

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