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Employee Relations Specialist

Austin, TX

Create a healthier, brighter future for pets, pet parents and people! 


If you want to make a real difference, create an exciting career path, feel welcome to be your whole self and nurture your wellbeing, Petco is the place for you. 


Our core values capture that spirit as we work to improve lives by doing what’s right for pets, people and our planet. 

  • We love all pets like our own
  • We’re the future of the pet industry
  • We’re here to improve lives
  • We drive outstanding results together
  • We’re welcome as we are


Petco is a category-defining health and wellness company focused on improving the lives of pets, pet parents and Petco partners. We are 29,000 strong, working together across 1,500+ pet care centers, 250+ Vetco Total Care hospitals, hundreds of preventive care clinics, eight distribution centers and two support centers.  


Essential Job Functions: 

The partner must be able to perform all of the following duties and responsibilities with or without a reasonable accommodation:

  • Answer and respond to inquiries from Petco associates, applicants, and external parties regarding employee relations issues. Provides guidance and recommendations for appropriate resolution while maintaining Petco’s best interest to eliminate and/or minimize risk, exposure, liability and costs.  
  • Oversee the hotline system including designation of hotline call level, assignment of call to appropriate investigator if not themselves, coaching investigator of how to conduct a proper investigation (if appropriate), ensuring investigation is thorough and complete, and reviewing case for final approval and closure.
  • Review, discuss and make recommendations on more complex issues such as sexual harassment and discrimination allegations. Strategize with management and regional HR staff on investigation and resolution of these sensitive issues.
  • Create and analyze regular reports focused on hotline compliance trends. Provide analysis and recommendations to regional HR Partners.
  • Stays current on employment law as well as employment law trends. Proactively researches information and conducts analysis on current processes/policies and initiates steps to avoid/eliminate potential Petco exposure.
  • Might assist in responding to agency (EEOC, DFEH, etc.) claims to include wage & hour, discrimination, wrongful terminations etc. Might interview associates, collect data and run reports to support management’s arguments. Might interact with legal counsel representing current and former associates to exchange information, resolve issues and negotiate settlements.
  • Conducts onsite investigations when appropriate. Prepares questions, evaluates the information collection and makes recommendations to appropriate manager as to the resolution of the cases.
  • Develop, review, and update policy and procedures regarding employee relations issues. Communicate new/updated policies as needed.
  • Interact with the Benefits and Risk Management Departments to communicate associate information concerning leaves of absences and accommodation. Provides guidance on the laws pertaining to disabilities and makes recommendations as to the continued employment of associates with Petco based on company policy, applicable laws and past practice.
  • Review and assist as needed in writing Employee Performance Notices (EPNs) for appropriate documentation and consistency in handling of disciplinary issues. Analyze content to follow up with manager or supervisor to recommend action, if necessary.
  • Advise and assist managers in communicating disciplinary decisions up to and including separations.
  • Provide support to the Manager, Director or Sr. ER Specialists for various audits, responding to claims and/or litigation to include collecting and analyzing data, providing summary information of data, drafting correspondence or acting as the liaison with attorneys and agencies.


Education/Experience:

  • High school diploma or equivalent (GED) and a 4-year college degree or the equivalent work experience. Working knowledge of basic personnel practices as well as labor and employment laws is required. Human Resources certification (PHR, SPHR) preferred.
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in Human Resources, preferably in an exempt capacity with exposure to counseling on and/or processing involuntary terminations where individual judgment was used to make recommendations, managing employee-related cases from investigation to resolution.
  • Strong experience in employment law preferably in a multi-state environment.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills that effectively influence or convince the audience decision-making process.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and interviewing/investigative skills are required due to the volume and nature of interaction with all levels of management and staff when gathering information to offer guidance and make recommendations.


Note: Current responsibilities are impacted by company and team priorities that may have evolved from what is displayed in the Workday job profile. The description provides general job duties and requirements, but the partner’s manager may assign additional responsibilities or tasks depending on business needs.


Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or any other protected classification.


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