Human Resources Director

Term of Employment: Regular, Full-time, exempt

Reports to: Chief Operations Officer (COO)

Direct Reports: HR Manager with second position budgeted for FY 2022

Location: Remote

The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. The Animal Legal Defense Fund accomplishes this mission by filing high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm, providing free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are held accountable for their crimes, supporting tough animal protection legislation and fighting legislation harmful to animals, and providing resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. Founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has blazed the trail for stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and more humane treatment of animals in every corner of American life.

Position Objectives:

The Human Resources Director (HRD) will plan, lead, direct, develop, and coordinate HR policies, activities, and staff of ALDF’s Human Resources department, ensuring legal compliance and implementation of the organization’s mission and talent acquisition and growth strategy for a growing organization of ~75 employees. Experience working with a unionized employee environment is strongly preferred. Responsibilities include employee education and training, labor relations, workers compensation administration, benefits administration, and salary administration. The HRD will strive, in conjunction with the other members of the Executive Staff, the Leadership Team, and all ALDF employees, to maintain and to grow high employee morale and job satisfaction by developing and maintaining an organizational culture in which each employee thrives. Finally, the HRD is responsible, along with other members of the ALDF Leadership Team, for managing the day-to-day operations of ALDF within the defined strategic and financial envelope established by the ALDF strategic plan, the ALDF business plan, and the ALDF budget.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Prepare and manage annual budget, annual business plans, and quarterly reports for human resources department.
  • Maintain knowledge of trends, best practices, regulatory changes, and new technologies in human resources, talent acquisition and management, and employment law; applies this knowledge to develop and to communicate changes in policy, practice, and resources to leadership team.
  • Manage HR department’s participation in bi-monthly payroll.
  • Lead supervision and management of third-party vendors with which ALDF contracts to provide HR-related services and functions to ALDF.
  • Manage the implementation and maintenance of performance management and staff development programs, including training curricula, to ensure effectiveness, compliance, and equity within organization.
  • Develop, establish, and maintain HR departmental objectives and measurements that support the accomplishment of ALDF’s strategic goals.
  • Develop, revise, recommend, and implement personnel policies and procedures. 
  • Lead the development, maintenance, and revision of ALDF employee handbooks on policies and procedures for employees and managers, both for U.S. and Canadian employees. 
  • Develop and maintain the Human Resources sections on company websites, particularly recruiting, culture, and company information, and organization Intranet, wikis, newsletters, etc.

Benefits & Compensation

  • Lead ALDF’s benefits review and selection process, including ALDF’s retirement plan.
  • Supervise administration of benefits programs such as life, health, and dental insurance, retirement plans, PTO, leaves of absence, and spot bonus program, both internally and with our third-party providers.
  • Lead compensation and benefits analysis with compensation analysis vendor.
  • Monitor organization’s salary structure and benefits while balancing with budgets and staff retention objectives.
  • Work closely with the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Chief Programs Officer (CPO), and the salary compensation vendor to conduct job benchmarking and to determine potential annual cost of labor increases.
  • Work with Finance Director to develop, analyze, and update the organization’s annual compensation budget.

Employee Relations

  • Plan, lead, develop, coordinate, and implement policies, processes, training, initiatives, and surveys to support the organization’s human resources compliance, strategic needs, and cultural growth.
  • Direct the development of methods for measuring employee satisfaction (surveys, team meetings, trainings, exit interviews, etc.); maintaining and improving morale; continuing ALDF’s leadership in employee retention; and maximizing job satisfaction consistent with ALDF’s culture.
  • Lead efforts to continue to motivate and to support staff.
  • Lead investigations of potential issues such as working conditions, disciplinary actions, and employee and applicant complaints and grievances.
  • Lead workplace incident investigations and preparation of reports in coordination with insurance carrier.
  • Analyze data and implement procedures to minimize unnecessary turnover.


  • Consult with ALDF General Counsel and/or pro bono counsel to ensure that policies and actions comply with all federal, state, and local laws.
  • Represent organization at personnel-related investigations if and as appropriate, and coordinate with outside agencies when needed.
  • Identify legal requirements and government reporting regulations impacting human resource functions and ensure policies, procedures, and reporting comply.
  • Evaluate legislation, arbitration decisions, and collective bargaining contracts to assess industry trends.
  • Advise, in conjunction with General Counsel, and the Senior Executive Team, of appropriate resolution of employee relations issues.


  • Collaborate with senior leadership to understand the organization’s goals and strategy related to staffing, recruiting, and retention.
  • Identify staffing and recruiting needs and develop and implement targeted recruitment strategies to ensure a robust and diverse applicant pool for all openings. 
  • Support line management in the creation, maintenance, revision, and posting of job descriptions.
  • Review and improve existing on-boarding experience for new staff members.
  • Lead exit interview process to determine employee experience and reason(s) for leaving organization.

Supervisory Responsibilities 

  • This position currently manages one staff member, ALDF’s HR Manager, with a second planned position for the current fiscal year budget; additional growth will occur commensurate with ALDF’s overall organizational growth.
  • Recruit, interview, hire, train, and manage new staff in the department. 
  • Facilitate professional development, training, and certification activities for HR staff.
  • Manage the daily workflow of the department. 
  • Provide constructive and timely performance evaluations to HR staff. 
  • Handle discipline and separation of employees for HR staff.

Training and Development

  • Establish an employee training system and curricula that address organization training needs including training needs assessment, new employee onboarding/orientation, management development, department cross-training, and the measurement of training impact.
  • Lead process and assist managers to regularly update job descriptions and implement a system for review and revision. 
  • Develop and communicate directives advising department managers of organization policy regarding equal employment opportunities, compensation, and employee benefits.


The ideal candidate will:

  • Understand and be fully committed to the mission of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Human Resource Management, or in Business Management or Administration with an HR concentration from four-year college or university; five plus years related experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Master’s degree in relevant field strongly preferred. 
  • 3+ years of Union experience strongly preferred.
  • 5+ years’ experience as HR Director required.
  • SHRM-SCP or SPHR certification strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of labor laws and regulations (union environment experience strongly preferred). 
  • Experience in educating and coaching staff.
  • Strong supervisory and leadership skills with remote staff.
  • Experience in conflict resolution, disciplinary processes, and workplace investigations.
  • Experience with implementing diversity programs.
  • Ability to give presentations to all staff, leadership team, and Board. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills.
  • Have excellent organizational and prioritization skills and be able to meet deadlines.
  • Have the ability to implement vision, think strategically, creatively problem solve, and exercise excellent judgment.
  • Have a facilitative and collaborative work style. 
  • Be “computer literate,” comfortable with Information Technology, HR software migrations, and have significant experience with software applications including, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, IBS, and other applications. 
  • Experience in budget preparation and reporting HR specific data. 

Work Environment:

While the person in this position will work from a home office, the current headquarters is a two-story office located in Cotati, California. The workplace environment is business casual and includes companion animals. Products made from animals or animal parts are prohibited in the office and at ALDF hosted events. 

Salary and Benefits:

The Animal Legal Defense Fund provides its staff with competitive salaries — benchmarked by an outside consultancy to ensure no overt or inadvertent bias — and a generous benefits package, which includes fully covering health care premiums on the organization’s plans, higher than average Paid Time Off (PTO), and access to a 401K account after one full year on staff — with 5% matching by the company and staff are fully vesting upon eligibility.

Please see for more information about our compensation, benefits, and policies.

Location: Remote work from home.

ALDF is committed to providing an employment environment which is welcoming of persons from diverse backgrounds and free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, and in which all of the legal rights of our employees are recognized and protected.  ALDF conducts all its internal and external operations, programs, and employment-related decision making (including hiring decisions) without regard to actual or perceived race, ancestry, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, immigration status, sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, political affiliation, disability or medical condition (including physical, intellectual, or psychiatric), sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, genetic information, age, or other protected category, and in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws. 

How to Apply:

Please no phone calls.  To apply, please send a resume and cover letter in PDF format to


Clerkships, Internships, and Fellowships

The Animal Legal Defense Fund offers a list of our current internship, clerkship and fellowship opportunities plus additional opportunities at various law firms and non-profit organizations across the country.

Learn More