Labor Counsel

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Website Cook County Bureau of Human Resources

General Overview

Represents Cook County in matters within the authority of the Labor Relations Department under the supervision of the Senior Labor Counsel.  Acts as a legal advisor and counsel to the County in all areas of labor relations related to the Bureau. Labor Counsel is responsible for all labor relations-related litigation that may arise, including arbitrations and Labor Relations Board matters. Provides guidance and counsel to department heads and supervisors on labor related matters including discipline, work rules and department organization. Works with outside counsel, elected officials and department heads in matters associated with arbitrations and department work. Assists in labor negotiations with collective bargaining groups; assists in the evaluation, formation, and implementation of policy directives affecting employees of Cook County. Consults with the Bureau Chief of Human Resources and Deputy Chief in matters of highest confidentiality.

Key Responsibilities and Duties

  1. Evaluates, prepares, and represents Cook County in all labor arbitrations between Cook County and unions.
  2. Reviews grievances, determines and implements litigation strategy, prepares witnesses, collects evidence, conducts thorough analysis of case and negotiates settlement when appropriate.
  3. Coordinates hearings with opposing counsel and management, and communicates with arbitrators.
  4. Researches pending legal issues, analyzes case laws and facts and prepares pre- and post-hearing briefs.
  5. Counsels various Cook County departments and offices in labor relations and employment matters such as discipline, layoffs, terminations, transfers and numerous other matters that may arise between Cook County management and employees/unions.
  6. Provides advice and counsel on employment related laws and matters such as the implementation of policy and initiatives within the parameters of the CBA, grievances, arbitrations, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Affordable Care Act, and Equal Employment Opportunity laws.
  7. Represents the County in litigation related to the collective bargaining process including duty to bargain in good faith, contract violations, and disciplinary matters as well as grievances and arbitrations resulting therefrom; and consult on strike planning.
  8. Appears before various forums including the Illinois Labor Relations Board on matters involving union certification petitions, representation petitions, unit clarification petitions and unfair labor practice charges.
  9. Interprets collective bargaining agreements, County policies and applicable laws and regulations.
  10. Assists the Deputy Chief and Senior Labor Counsel in labor negotiations and the formulation, implementation and enforcement of labor and employee policies for Cook County, and in doing so is responsible for matters of the utmost confidentiality.
  11. Works with outside counsel and retained experts on a variety of employment related issues.
  12. Advises on implementation of policies and initiatives including Workers Compensation, disability, and return to work matters.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  1. Knowledge of and ability to resolve complex labor disputes through negotiations.
  2. Strong command of the rules of evidence, civil procedure and trial advocacy, and the ability to effectively litigate complex labor and employment issues with minimal direction.
  3. Skill in working directly and independently with elected officials, department heads, outside counsel, and labor groups to develop strategy pertaining to a wide range of matters, including discipline, contract interpretation, salaries, benefits and working conditions.
  4. Knowledge of all applicable federal, state, county and local laws, rules and regulations including those of the Illinois Labor Relations Board and the ability to represent Cook County before various forums.
  5. Skill in analyzing labor agreements and appropriately interpreting the terms, conditions and intent represented therein.
  6. Skill in the use of diplomacy and confidentiality while communicating with arbitrators, attorneys, elected officials, department heads, management, employees, and union officials.
  7. Ability to communicate effectively with tact and courtesy and conduct oneself in a professional manner.  Good communication skills; good negotiation skills; ability to convey information and explain or describe County policy and procedure to others.
  8. At the direction of the Deputy Chief, acts a liaison between the Offices Under the President and other Cook County offices and agencies.

Minimum Qualifications

  1. Knowledge of the law pertaining to local and municipal government in Illinois, particularly with respect to Cook County government and the Cook County Health and Hospital System.
  2. Graduation from an accredited law school as Juris Doctor.
  3. Licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois.
  4. Three (3) years’ of work experience in labor relations, human resources, litigation, or other related field.

The duties listed are not set forth for purpose of limiting the assignment of work. They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside of an employee’s normal line of work.

How do I apply?

Please submit a Cover letter and Resume to 118 N. Clark St., Room #840, Attn:  Regina Crider.  You can also email the two required documents to  The position description can be found on the right side of this page under the Download option.

When are Resumes due?

Until Filled.

Post Offer testing:

All new employees will be required to submit to a satisfactory drug test and background check, based on reports obtained from law enforcement authorities. The reports are based on results from fingerprints taken from all new hires.

To apply for this job email your details to

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