Labor Relations Business Partner

Posted Date: Feb 4, 2024

Location: Camden, NJ, US, 08102

Company: American Water Works Company Inc

Share Our Purpose.  Be Yourself.  Feel Valued. 


People are the heart of our business. As an American Water employee, you will be offered a competitive salary and health benefits package, along with opportunities to develop, grow, and evolve your career.  Our benefits packages focus on key areas such as health & wellness, emotional & well-being, and savings for current & future goals.


We are Beautifully Different. We strongly believe having diversity across our company makes us more successful and helps us provide essential services to our customers. We are stronger because we embrace different ideas, viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds. American Water is the best choice for your next role!  Click here for more information on our inclusion, diversity, and equity journey.


About American Water
American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the United States. With a history dating back to 1886, We Keep Life Flowing® by providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people across 14 regulated jurisdictions and 18 military installations. American Water’s 6,500 talented professionals leverage their significant expertise and the company’s national size and scale to achieve excellent outcomes for the benefit of customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders.

As one of the fastest growing utilities in the U.S., American Water expects to invest $30 to $34 billion in infrastructure repairs and replacement, system resiliency and regulated acquisitions over the next 10 years. The company has a long-standing history of executing its core operations, aligned with sustainable best practices, through its commitments to safety, affordability, customer service, protecting the environment, an inclusive workforce and strengthening communities.

American Water has been recognized on the 2023 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Indexfor the fifth consecutive year, ranked 18th on Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies 2023 List, earned the U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act designation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® Excellence Award, among additional state, local and national recognitions.

For more information, visit and join American Water on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.




Short Description


We are excited to add this Labor Relations Business Partner position at American Water!  This position will partner directly with our Human Resources, Leadership, & Operations teams on labor relations in the assigned area of responsibility. You will deliver consultative labor relations services and a full range of  expertise including but not limited to labor contract negotiations, collective bargaining agreement administration, interpretation of labor contracts, application of contractual rights & responsibilities, and strategy development.  This position will be based out of our beautiful headquarters in Camden, NJ* and will require travel as needed.  In addition to our full range of excellent benefits, this position will allow you to work from home up to two days per week! 


*If not in the Camden area, we can consider other NJ offices within our footprint as the reporting location for this role.

Primary Role


To optimize business performance by focusing on labor relations in the designated area, ensuring compliance to State and Federal laws, regulatory agencies, company policies, and collective bargaining agreements. Serve as facilitator of labor relations activities including the role of the chief spokesperson (first chair) in labor contract negotiations as part of the management negotiations team. Responsible for all labor relations functions including collective bargaining agreement administration, interpretation of labor contracts, application of contractual rights and responsibilities, research, analysis, strategy development, data input and analysis,  metrics, relationship-building and negotiation in designated areas of responsibility.

Key Accountabilities


  • As part of the labor relations team, provides consultation and support to the business as the primary contact for all labor relations matters in designated areas of responsibility focusing on Collective Bargaining Agreement administration, interpretation, application, and negotiation.
  • Support internal organizational stakeholders in labor relations matters including prepare for labor negotiations, contract administration, contract language interpretation, application, and grievance procedures as well as participate in arbitrations, litigations, grievance meetings and hearings. Serve as the chief spokesperson (first chair) in labor contract negotiations as part of the management negotiations team.
  • Ensure compliance with various state and federal laws and/or agencies throughout diverse regions; guiding business managers to proactively identify and navigate risks.     
  • Manage the collective bargaining process; develop contract language that meets organizational objectives, and assess the impact of scenarios for designated areas of responsibility.
  • Participate in and facilitate all processes of contract and mid-contract negotiations for all contracts in designated areas of responsibility.          
  • Provide consistent labor relations information and advice to local management and other HR professionals as required.
  • Develop and support the development of positive, constructive Union/Management relationships.
  • Assist with Corporate Governance activities as directed. Provide expert advice and guidance in support of business development projects (due diligence; labor/employee relations; inputs on bids; integration, data collection, document archiving, metrics development etc.) including Union Awareness requirements (if needed).
  • Work within AW Labor Relations Strategies to implement practices, policies and programs that cultivate positive relationships in the Union/Non-Union and Management Workforce. Support and develop training programs and other development initiatives which drive and facilitate our success. Contribute to effective communication by listening and providing constructive feedback; supporting the creation of an open and honest work environment; cascading and sharing knowledge and information relevant to other members of the team and colleagues across the business.



  • Ability to effectively provide expertise with Labor Relations and HR issues at all levels of the organization.
  • Strong management skills which include planning, organization, team building, strategic focus, influencing, and people development.
  • Proven track record of supporting change programs and partnering with business managers.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and with all levels within and outside the organization.
  • Extensive knowledge of all Human Resources areas including employment law, labor laws, EEO, ERISA, and other compliance mandates



  • Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources or related field preferred Masters Degree Desirable
  • Min. of eight years Labor and Employment relations experience with a union workforce and labor contract negotiations or four years Labor and Employment relations experience with a union workforce and labor contract negotiations that includes at least 1 year experience at American Water in a union workforce environment. The following demonstration of experience is preferred:
    • Experience with arbitrations and mediations.
    • Demonstrated experience as the chief spokesperson (first chair) in labor contract negotiations.
    • Demonstrated record of building and fostering positive labor-management relationships
    • Experience with all varieties of HR issues with a tactical, hands-on approach.

Work Environment


  • Modern day professional office environment
  • Hybrid working schedule (3 days in office, 2 from home)

Travel Requirements


  • Travel required based on business needs.  Can be up to >50% as needed.

Additional Key Accountabilities


  • HR Certification preferred
  • Know, understand, and effectively implement the elements of the strategic plan and tie those strategies to the operation, roles and goals of the department.
  • Know, understand and effectively implement managerial principles such as collaboration, innovation, strategy, communication, transparency, and predictability.
  • Operate effectively within the department including understanding systems, procedures, processes, and appropriate technologies.
  • Know and understand how the department fits into the unit, division, and overall business design to which it belongs.
  • Know, understand and effectively implement policies, procedures, agreements, payroll, benefits, procurement, initiatives, budget, programs, and the like.
  • Interact with staff, colleagues, constituents, collaborators, and stakeholders across the organization.
  • Delegate, lead, guide and direct work of teams and individuals to support strategies, initiatives, goals, policies, procedures and emulate them in your daily performance
  • Direct, manage, evaluate, and hold a team of employees accountable to achieve short-and-long-term goals.
  • Know, understand and comply with the law, ethics and corporate citizenship behavior regarding employment, benefits, safety, the law and ethics and compliance.
  • Support recruiting, acclimating, assisting, developing and mentoring other lesser experienced professionals within the department and potentially across functions.
  • Develop and promote collaborative team environments within the department and with departments across the business that strive to achieve goals that support strategies.


Champions safety
Cultivates innovation
Customer obsessed
Drives Results
Nimble learning



Join American Water...We Keep Life Flowing


American Water is firmly committed to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and prohibits employment discrimination for employees and applicants based on his or her age, race, color, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, citizenship, or because they are an individual with a disability, protected veteran or other status protected by federal, state, and local laws.

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia