Director, Employee Relations

Function:  People

New York, NY, US

Work Arrangement:  Hybrid

Position Title: Employee Relations Director

Location: NYC

Reports to:  VP, HR Global Functions



Together, WE enable individuals to look, feel, and be their true selves.

Wella Company is one of the world’s leading beauty companies, comprised of a family of iconic brands such as Wella Professionals, Clairol, OPI, Nioxin and ghd. With 6,000 employees globally, presence in over 100 countries, Wella Company and its brands enable consumers to look, feel, and be their true selves. As innovators in the hair and nail industry, Wella Company empowers its people to delight consumers, inspire beauty professionals, engage communities, and deliver sustainable growth to its stakeholders.

For additional information about the Wella Company please visit


The Employee Relations Director oversees the company’s employee relations programs, policies, and procedures. The director designs and develops programs to elevate employee experiences and promote employee satisfaction. The Employee Relations Director helps counsel employees on issues related to EEO, ADA, Workers' Council, performance, and termination guidelines. This function works in close partnership with key stakeholders, including HR Business Partners, HR COEs, Compliance, Audit, and Legal.



Consultation on ER Compliance and Risk:

  • Provide advice and counsel to all business units on topics ranging from policy interpretation, internal investigations, performance management, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, unfair dismissal, and reductions in the workforce. Collaborates with legal counsel as needed.
  • Ensure employment practices for all locations are up to date, legally compliant, and meet company standards.
  • Ensure consistent application of policies and procedures
  • Maintain an in-depth knowledge of legislative trends and legal updates to advise regions) and markets accordingly.  Partner with local counsel to ensure compliance and risk mitigation.
  • Review and advise on warning and discipline and termination documentation, grievance invitations and outcomes and employee consultation letters across the organization. 
  • Assist with operations and supporting documentation for all reductions in force, restructures, and ad-hoc position eliminations.
  • Create necessary documentation for new market openings such as employee contracts and workplace handbooks/regulations/work
  • Work with Legal department and external counsel to ensure compliance with all local legislation on topics such as conducting workplace investigations, performance management, new market openings and required compliance trainings.


  • Handling of high-level and complex employee matters
  • Provide expertise on the investigation and successful resolution of employee relations issues and complaints.
  • Assist with the development of investigation plans and lead complex investigations at and above a certain organizational level to minimize legal risk.
  • Ensure application of consistent, equitable, inclusive, compassionate approach to managing and escalating employee issues.  Oversee decisions that lead to the fair and consistent resolution of claims related to discrimination harassment, working conditions, disciplinary actions, and employee and applicant appeals and grievances.

Policy and Procedure Ownership and Compliance:

  • Ensure regulatory compliance and adoption of best employee relations practices.
  • Assess, recommend, and implement HR policies and practices as needed to meet the needs of the organization.
  • Collaborate with Legal and HR partners regarding communication and implementation of policies and programs (handbook, websites, etc.) ensuring compliance with applicable local employment laws and regulations
  • Drive employee relations strategies and initiatives through the development of strong employee communication channels and business partner relationships to support a broader people risk management agenda.
  • Create, maintain, and manage the reduction in workforce strategy locations (including the development of a Reduction in Force manual that provides clear guidance on severance payments and packages notification discussions and required reporting).
  • Lead the COVID taskforce for practices and protocols.
  • Stay up to date on best practices (pay, layoff, in-office etc.) keeping management informed as things change.

Employee Relations Case Management

  • Understand and implement a practice for use for the new case management system from intake to resolution that ensure effective and efficient response and resolution.
  • Conduct training and quarterly audits of the system to ensure proper use.

Metrics, Insights and Strategies:

  • Leverage tools, internal data, and external benchmarks to identify employee experience trends.
  • Analyze data and insights to diagnose root cause issues and patterns to reduce risk, devise solutions, and increase engagement.
  • Distill strategies into practical recommendations and influence stakeholders to drive adoption.
  • Partner with internal communications team to amplify strategies and programs.

Employee Programs:

  • Manage company milestone and recognition programs (years of service, etc.)
  • Partner with the business as it relates to company benefit programs such as the employee discount or special offers.
  •  Identify and manage programs that improve morale, promote well-being, and provide incentive to employees (yoga classes, discount offerings with partners or local businesses, etc.).


  • 10+ years of experience related to employee relations and compliance.  Program management experience a plus. 
  • A Bachelor´s degree required.  JD a plus.
  • Superb verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to distill complex topics into clear, concise terms.  Pragmatic and influential when providing recommendations.
  • Ability to proactively detect risk areas.
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to identify trends from data.
  • High level of reliability and personal integrity.
  • Strategic, structured, pro-active and solution-oriented way of working.
  • Self-motivated and results driven. Sense of urgency to address time sensitive situations.
  • Ability to work across cultures with all levels of organization as well as with different functions.
  • Fluent in English, both written and spoken required.

We disclose the compensation range for positions in compliance with local law. Actual salaries will vary and may be above or below the range based on various factors including but not limited to location, experience, and performance. The range listed is just one component of Wella Company's total rewards package for employees. Pay Range: $164,800K-$206K salary per year. Other rewards may include annual bonus plan or variable pay, depending on the role. In addition, Wella Company provides a rich variety of benefits to employees, including health insurance, life, and disability insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, paid holidays and paid time off (PTO). 



We offer equal employment opportunity to qualified individuals without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Wella Company with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact us at:

We strongly believe that cultivating a diverse workplace gives a company strength. The combination of unique skills, abilities, experiences and backgrounds creates an environment that produces extraordinary results. EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled.

English - Please click on this link to review the Notification of Equal Opportunity Rights poster

Español - Por favor, haga un clic en el enlace para revisar el poster de la Ley de los Derechos de Igualdad de Empleo



Nearest Major Market: Manhattan
Nearest Secondary Market: New York City