ABOUT CHARLA WELCH
Charla Welch is a Senior Human Resources Consultant at the firm with a background in law, employee relations and human resources. Ms. Welch has overhauled and created from scratch employee handbooks, in addition to updating numerous policies and procedures with an eye towards operational efficiency. She assists agencies with recruitment efforts, job analysis and evaluations and designs tools to increase and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Ms. Welch develops learning systems designed to train organization leadership about ethics and conflict resolution as well as mediates disputes. She provided guidance on multi-state expansion, including assisting the central HR team in establishing systems to manage benefits and compliance.
Ms. Welch, as an Employee Relations Business Partner for a governmental agency, was selected as the interim Manager of Employee Relations and EEO Programs. She partners with leadership, ranging from legal and executive-level management to front-line supervisors, to identify high-risk issues and proactively address trends impacting a distributed workforce. She routinely conducts investigations involving issues such as workplace violence, EEO violations, fraud, and attendance, including reviewing documentation, writing reports, and serving as a Hearing Officer for disciplinary matters; drafts discipline (Skelly notices), coaches department representatives, and has handled several arbitrations. She enjoys leading the reasonable accommodation interactive process with employees with disabilities or work restrictions, including tracking accommodations for agency-wide consistency.
She has also analyzed new regulations related to background checks and proposed changes to the city-wide onboarding process, including meeting, and conferring with union leaders to attain consensus on implementation and employee outreach strategy. She also advised all tiers of management concerning a highly experienced litigant’s continued employment both during and after his discrimination and retaliation complaint was dismissed.
Ms. Welch, during her tenure as an attorney, co-led a city’s collective bargaining with their HR Director to negotiate concessionary labor agreements with eight unions. She also successfully arbitrated a contractual interpretation dispute with an international union.
Ms. Welch was an Employee Relations Officer for a transportation agency. She served on a cross-functional team as the internal business expert on FMLA/CFRA leave during a multi-million-dollar implementation of PeopleSoft to track leave and pay status. Ms. Welch established procedures for accommodating temporary work restrictions. She created a weekly report of all FMLA leave applications and approvals and ADA work restrictions. She revised a 29-page Substance Abuse Policy, ensured three subcontractors’ compliance, and prepared annual audit documents, in accordance with FTA regulations. Additionally, she managed over 420 bus drivers’ commercial licensure process and budget.
Ms. Welch began her labor and employee relations career with a housing authority where she served as primary liaison for ten bargaining units and participated in contract negotiations. She interpreted labor and employment contracts and personnel policies for senior-level management. Ms. Welch also investigated misconduct, prepared disciplinary actions, wrote grievance responses, and implemented a mass layoff of over fifty employees.
TRAINING AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- Developed and delivered the following original training programs: Preventing Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation; Business Ethics; and “Seeds for Success,” a lunch and learn four-part series on communication and customer experience. Presented trainings using various instructional formats (e.g., role playing, team exercises, group discussion, video, and lecture).
- Trained supervisors on corrective action, labor relations best practices, and EEO policy.
- With under two years’ tenure, presented at the LCW Employment Law Conference on two panels.
- Created internal and external training materials. Presented workshops and/or webinars to clients, with audience size ranging from 12 – 100 people on a variety of topics, including: Supervisory Skills for the First Line Supervisor; Performance Management: Evaluation, Documentation and Discipline; Workplace Bullying; and the Limits on Disciplining Disabled Employees.
- Created a three-hour, interactive training course on a Transit District’s drug and alcohol policy and testing procedures, and subsequently taught approximately fifty supervisors.
- University of San Francisco, School of Law, J.D.
- San Francisco State University, B.A., cum laude
- State Bar of California (257301; inactive)
- Senior Certified Professional (“SCP”)
- Austin Dispute Resolution Center – Mediation