News & Updates

DSHS OOS Civil Rights Investigator
August 30, 2023 | Erin Stewart


Are you passionate about civil rights work? Do you thrive on the opportunity to be a change agent toward equity?  If that is you, then bring your drive, innovation, and expertise to work every day to play a critical role in advocating for justice and equity in our workplace and for those served by DSHS.

The Office of Justice and Civil Rights (OJCR) within the Office of the Secretary is seeking 3 team members knowledgeable of federal and state civil rights laws to guide, consult and support DSHS and the community on civil rights activities and functions. This is an exciting opportunity for a meaningful career where your knowledge, innovation, experience, competence, and passion for civil rights work will help and support our mission to Transform Lives.

In this role, you will assist in providing strategic and innovative leadership for OJCR through mentoring,coaching, training, and supporting the effective operations of the Investigations Unit.   Your duties will include responsibility for assisting with the full range of duties associated with the OJCR Investigations Unit and the staff who conduct investigations.  You will provide statewide strategic direction, consultation, plan, manage, conduct, and coordinate all aspects of employee allegations of misconduct. You will report to the Chief Investigator and assist in developing and presenting training and prevention work for internal and external customers and may be called upon to testify before an arbitrator, Personnel Resources Board, civil trial, or other related tribunals. You will use your expert knowledge of civil rights laws to triage incoming allegations and assess whether further investigation by the OJCR is appropriate. You will be challenged to think outside the box and improve upon existing processes and procedures in conducting meaningful investigations.   You will follow and may develop best practices to create an influential program supportive of the agency’s mission and culture. Although temporary, this is a full-time, benefit-eligible position that will be for 12 months.

Link to full job description including benefits and salary:

Some of what you’ll do:

  • Plan, organize, and manage investigations and ensure fair, thorough, and consistent processes are developed and followed in a timely manner.
  • Manage caseload based on investigator workload, complexity, urgency of the investigation, seriousness of allegations, etc., and shift workload as needed.
  • Supervise, coach, mentor, train, and develop to improve the investigators interviewing and report writing skills, including assessing training needs, and researching training resources.
  • Establish and evaluate performance standards and expectations and take corrective action when performance does not meet expectations.
  • Assist in preparing and leading regularly scheduled team meetings to review the activities of the teams.
  • Conduct meetings with all direct reports and design work plans to identify goals, strategies, and timelines to carry out OJCR objectives.
  • Conduct research, case reviews and interviews, and investigations in a fair and thorough manner, to determine compliance with department policies and procedures as well as federal/state laws and regulations.
  • Assist in developing efficient and effective processes for incoming OJCR complaint assessments and external complaints.
  • Review and assess allegations routed to the OJCR for routing to the appropriate investigation location.
  • Ensure timely processing of investigation assignments upon acceptance of complaints by the OJCR.
  • Facilitate and provide training and prevention work within the Agency and the community on Civil Rights.
  • Assist the Chief Investigator with subject matter expert advice and counsel related to operational delivery, understanding the application of civil rights laws, and prevention of civil rights violations.
  • Provide high-level advice, consultation, and recommendations in concert with the Chief Investigator and the objectives of the OJCR.
  • Attend and participate in meetings and education/training events.

Picture yourself doing deeply meaningful work as part of our team, demonstrate your investigative skills and ability by applying the constant application of independent judgment, analytical eye, problem-solving, and negotiation skills, a savvy relationship builder with stellar communication and skilled technical writing abilities, facilitation and collaboration skills and advanced mentoring and coaching abilities. We are looking for a skilled investigator who is passionate about ensuring justice and equity objectives are first and foremost the objectives in all interactions.


If this role speaks to who you are, we want to hear from you! We encourage you to apply!


Who should apply?

  • A Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school, but does not have to be an active bar member.
  • Minimum three years of experience in civil rights law and discrimination work.
  • Minimum one year of continuous experience leading investigators or specialists who conduct investigations of unlawful/impermissible conduct.

We are looking for leadership experience related to:

  • Ability to manage and administer a broad range of tasks.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, multi-task, and follow through to complete tasks.
  • Ability to work in a diverse environment and provide excellent customer service to a wide array of customers
  • Ability to work effectively within a political environment.

How to apply?

  • Current chronological resume
  • A cover letter explaining why you are interested in the job, and the skills and experience that make you the best person for the job
  • Three professional references with current contact information
  • Proof of Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school

Our Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) mission to Transform Lives requires that we come together with a sense of belonging, common purpose, shared values, and meaningful work. It is crucial to our agency’s mission that you bring an equity, anti-racism, and social justice commitment to your work with DSHS. We strive to create greater access and affirming representation of the communities we serve, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, people with physical, behavioral health, and intellectual disabilities, elders, LGBTQIA+ individuals, immigrants and refugees, and families building financial security.

If you have questions about job number 08292 contact Anu Rao at (360) 972-6206 or via email at


Supplemental Information


Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal record history may be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant’s suitability and competence to perform in the job. This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies. Employees driving on state business must have a valid driver’s license. Employees driving a privately owned vehicle on state business must have liability insurance on the privately owned vehicle.


Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in any area of employment, its programs or services on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, religion or beliefs, political affiliation, military status, honorably discharged veteran, Vietnam Era, recently separated or other protect­ed veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, equal pay or genetic information. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the Recruiter at (360) 725-5810. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.