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About Us

The Department of Employee Relations (DER) serves as the City of Milwaukee’s human resources department.

The Department provides oversight and direction over the following:

  • City's civil service system
  • HR policies 
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding 
  • Compensation services  
  • Benefits and wellness services
  • Labor
  • Compliance  
  • Safety  
  • Grievances 
  • Leave administration
  • Other employee relations matters.

The department is also responsible for implementing best practices that support the delivery of quality and timely city services.

  • Mission
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Divisions


DER is a leader in HR excellence and committed to meeting the evolving needs of our diverse workforce so they can thrive and serve the City of Milwaukee with purpose. DER will make the City of Milwaukee an employer of choice, one employee at a time. We will provide an inclusive, positive, engaged and welcoming work environment and become a leader in innovation and best practices.

Strategic plan

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded in DER’s policies, principles, and practice. We are committed to fostering a work environment where a highly engaged, diverse workforce can thrive in an environment of fairness, dignity and respect. The department celebrates, embraces, values and promotes the diverse voices of City of Milwaukee employees. We believe diversity enhances and strengthens the work environment and the functioning of city government. DER is committed to maximizing the potential of every City of Milwaukee employee. 

Racial Equity Plan

DER recognizes the important role it plays in supporting all City of Milwaukee agencies in their efforts to assure equitable delivery of services and programs, balanced and fair distribution of resources, and uniform and appropriate access to programs and services. Comprehensive benefit programs play a critical role in supporting diversity efforts and ensuring employees feel welcome at the City and supported throughout their employment. Advancing and achieving racial equity within the City’s workforce is paramount to the City’s equity, inclusion, and social justice goals. 

Equity Summary & Strategy Recommendations


City Employee Workforce Demographics

Examine data on City of Milwaukee employees by race/ethnicity, gender, generation, job category, and department.

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Employee Resource Group

An Employee Resource Group (ERG) is an employee group that has been formally recognized by the City and shares a common background, focus area, and set of interests/goals that foster an environment of inclusion.  Any City of Milwaukee employee can be a member of an ERG.

To start and ERG of your own, contact the Human Resources Compliance Officer at (414) 286-6210.

Additional Information


There are five divisions within DER.

Employee Benefits

The Employee Benefits Division oversees comprehensive services in benefits, wellness and safety centered on meeting the needs of employees and their families. The City’s wellness program includes a wide range of programs, services and resources including an onsite wellness center, traveling wellness center sites, year-round coaching, access to registered dieticians, educational sessions, group fitness classes and department specific initiatives as well as an onsite Workplace Clinic, offsite FastCare Clinics and an Injury Prevention Clinic. This division also addresses employee safety concerns and works to minimize the safety risks of employees performing work in the field, which includes safety training, worker’s compensation claims administration and risk management.

Compensation Services

The Compensation Services Division serves as the primary source for consultative expertise on all classification and compensation matters. The division provides expert advice on best practices, manages the resolution of complex compensation issues and ensures compliance with state and federal laws, regulations, and ordinances.


The Staffing Division performs recruitment and selection activities for general city positions within the City of Milwaukee.  Additionally, the Staffing Division facilitates and monitors pre-employment activities (e.g.  medical screening, I-9 processing) and New Employee Orientation for all general City new hires, in addition to ensuring all processes related to hiring and pre-employment follow the Board of City Service Commissioners Rules and State and Federal guidelines and laws. 


The Compliance Division develops and oversees Citywide employee policies, addresses employee complaints of harassment, bullying, and discrimination, administers employee leave including paid parental leave and FMLA. The division also ensures compliance with state and federal laws, regulations, ordinances and best employment practices.


The Labor Division manages the collective bargaining process for the City of Milwaukee. The division is responsible for interpretation and enforcement of labor contracts, Chapter 350 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances, management of the employee disciplinary and work place safety grievance processes and claims filed under the Dispute Resolution Procedure.

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