Bureau of Human Resources

The mission of the Bureau of Human Resources is to administer programs to attract, develop and retain a skilled and diverse workforce. We are committed to collaborating with the Department of Health's and the Department of Human Services' management teams in identifying and responding to the agencies' changing needs by facilitating greater productivity and effectiveness in the human resources program. We foster an environment that values diversity, employee development and honest feedback and balance the needs of the employees and the agencies while ensuring compliance with federal and state employment laws, merit system regulations, and collective bargaining agreements. By serving as knowledgeable resources and advisors to managers, supervisors and employees, we actively support the agencies' missions of facilitating the development of an effective public health system and serving Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens. The bureau administers the Commonwealth’s HR systems and programs through five divisions.

Christie Kahler, Acting Director
Bureau of Human Resources
Tel: (717) 787-5618

Erica Flagg, Chief
Division of Employee Relations and Workplace Support
Tel: (717) 787-1680

Traci Taylor, Chief
Division of Human Resource Services
Tel: (717) 783-9302

Christie Kahler, Chief
Division of Human Resource Field Operations
Tel: (717) 783-3385

Crystal Weand
Point of Contact for DHS/DOH Training
Division of Workforce Development and Training
Tel:  (717) 736-7342

Division of Equal Opportunity and Contract Compliance

  • Develop, implement and monitor DOH’s multi-phased equal employment program including development and submission of an annual, written plan to the Governor’s Office of Administration.
  • Investigate allegations of discrimination including sexual harassment and hostile work environment involving DOH employees, vendors, and applicants for employment and submit reports to the HR Director and the Office of Legal Counsel for review.
  • Consult with DOH bureau directors and deputy secretaries to provide bureau/deputate specific EEO workforce data and statistics, to delineate program objectives and goals, to give advice in recruitment issues, and to interpret EEO policy/regulations as needed.
  • Coordinate all DOH activities relating to implementing/compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and submits quarterly ADA Reasonable Accommodation and EEO reports to the Governor’s Office of Administration and reviews services provided by DOH to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Coordinate the DOH State Employee Assistance Program (SEAP) as the Agency SEAP Coordinator including advising managers/supervisors, Labor Relations staff, OA staff and union representatives (as appropriate) when an employer referral is needed.
  • Develop and present EEO specific training to DOH supervisors in areas such as reasonable accommodation, prevention of sexual harassment, SEAP, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), commemorative events, compliance reviews and workplace civility.

Division of Employee Relations and Workplace Support

  • Provides consultation on complex labor relations, discipline and grievance actions.
  • Interprets labor agreements, including contracts and memoranda of understanding for all bargaining agreements.
  • Provides guidance and coordination on DHS' contracting/privatization efforts to ensure that all contractual requirements are met.
  • Assesses and provides training on labor relations, grievance handling, discipline contracting and other related subjects to all DHS managers and supervisors.
  • Administers the grievance processes, both AGP (Accelerated Grievance Procedure) and SGP (Standard Grievance Procedure) on behalf of DHS to ensure the cases are properly and effectively presented.
  • Serves as principal point of contact for all top management staff, both in headquarters and at field installations and offices for all employee safety-related issues.
  • Administers and manages DHS' SEAP program in conformance with Commonwealth requirements; ensures the coordination with the labor relations staff on condition of continued employment (COCE) requirements with local union and GOA staff; and ensures that SEAP training requirements for all staff are fulfilled and that SEAP coordinators at all work locations have been identified and trained in their responsibilities, in accordance with Commonwealth requirements.
  • Administers and manages the Right to Know, HIV/AIDS, Commercial Drivers' License (CDL) testing program and Drug Free Workplace programs; meets with top level managers to explain the requirements of the programs; and ensures training is provided to DHS staff in accordance with Commonwealth and federal requirements.
  • Administers and manages DHS' employee safety programs and initiatives; meets with top level managers to explain program requirements; and develops, implements and evaluates safety-related training to all agency staff, to include CPR, fire safety, office security and workplace violence.
  • Reviews and analyzes incidents of workplace violence, and in coordination with other agency and GOA staff, determines suitable means to correct identified problems and deficiencies.
  • Develops and implements policies and procedures to administer unemployment compensation, work-related disability, Act 534 and Worker's Compensation programs.
  • Administers the financial disclosure program under the Governor's Code of Conduct and the State Ethics Act; ensures that all DHS employees in designated positions file complete forms in accordance with the Civil Service Act; reviews forms for potential conflict of interest between the employees' of official Commonwealth duties and outside personal endeavors; and consults with the DHS' Chief Counsel to secure legal opinions as to whether conflicts are indicated.
  • Administers Supplementary Employment Program.

Division of Human Resource Services

  • Directs the comprehensive recruitment, placement, position classification and compensation programs.
  • Plans and directs all activities, policies and procedures involving the recruitment, placement, counseling and career development for DHS employees, including recruitment activities at colleges, regional job fairs and trade fairs/conventions to meet the unique and special needs of DHS; administers statewide advertising programs and the screening and referral of candidates for employment consideration; and ensures that all activities are consistent with DHS, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State Civil Service Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity requirements, laws, rules and regulations.
  • Provides advice and assistance to bureau directors and deputy secretaries on special or unique staffing or resource problems.
  • Administers all Civil Service requirements DHS-wide, such as test development, applicant evaluations, monitoring of appointment and promotion actions for compliance with system requirements, as well as implementation of Civil Service policy/rules/procedure changes throughout DHS; directs the analysis and evaluation of recruitment and examination needs, prioritizes identified needs and discusses testing program priorities with the State Civil Service Commission.
  • Administers the posting of DHS positions, both internally and externally, and ensures that all applicable contract and Civil Service requirements are met.
  • Develops and provides career counseling services to DHS employees, including training and resolution of employee concerns, complaints and problems.
  • Administers DHS' senior level and non-Civil Service employment processes to ensure that all requirements established by the Governor's Office are met; meets with staff from the Governor's Office and the Bureau of State Employment to discuss needs and resolve problems; and evaluates and recommends placement of positions in the Senior Management Service.
  • Administers the temporary clerical pool program for DHS through the review and evaluation of requests for temporary clerical positions for headquarters offices.
  • Administers furlough processes by providing direction, advice, training, and direct employee counseling for classes affected by furlough; coordinates activities with departmental legal counsel, private attorneys and State Civil Service Commission as applicable to fact gathering, settlements, and adjudications.
  • Manages the development, implementation, and monitoring of Civil Service examination programs for all job titles used in DHS by determining need, analyzing and prioritizing the hiring needs to meet unanticipated and regular hiring needs, and assessing the job relevancy of all exams.
  • Serves as DHS' liaison on classification and pay matters with the Office of Administration, State Civil Service Commission and collective bargaining representatives.
  • Meets with bureau/office heads and deputy secretaries to discuss and resolve classification and organizational issues; and/or explain the requirements of the Commonwealth's position classification and compensation program; meets with senior staff from the Governor's Office, the State Civil Service Commission and collective bargaining unit representatives to discuss and resolve classification and compensation matters.
  • Evaluates all DHS positions through the review of classification/reclassification requests, organizational and occupational surveys and the Classification Maintenance Review (CMR) Program; ensures that all field offices and facilities conduct the CMR surveys in accordance with Commonwealth and DHS policies and procedures.
  • Determines position classifications through the review of employee-initiated classification appeals and grievances, the collection and analysis of data and information and the preparation of responses.
  • Reviews vacant position requests to ensure that positions are properly classified prior to being filled.
  • Conducts classification surveys by organization and/or occupation to identify misclassified positions for corrective action and/or to develop new or revised class specifications to accurately reflect work performed.
  • Conducts organizational and occupational studies to analyze job tasks for proper maintenance of the job classification plan. Develops new job classification specifications or revises existing specifications to ensure the classification standards accurately reflect the work performed and the qualification requirements are appropriate for recruitment purposes.
  • Reviews and approves temporary working out of class assignments to ensure that the employee(s) assigned to complete the work qualify for the position and that all time requirements are met.
  • Evaluates salary adjustment requests, exceptional salary increments and requests for above minimum appointments and recommends approval/disapproval.
  • Administers the evaluation of position compensation for mid and upper management positions through departmental Hay Evaluation Committees.
  • Monitors and evaluates the identification and recording of essential job functions as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, as well as the possible classification implications of granting an ADA accommodation.
  • Conducts maintenance reviews of DHS positions in coordination with the Governor's Office of Administration; maintains and implements classification and pay changes approved by Executive Board action.
  • Monitors position complement ceiling and levels for all departmental appropriations and program offices and provides periodic reports to Executive and top management; coordinates complement adjustments with the Governor’s Office of Administration and the DHS' Office of Budget.
  • The County Programs Unit of this division provides a range of personnel services specifically for local government human services agencies funded by DHS. This includes classification and compensation services, fiscal reimbursement, merit system oversight and review, personnel transactions, and training for over 9,000 county Children &Youth (C&Y) and Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MH/MR) positions. The unit also provides guidance, technical assistance, and services to County Commissioners, MH/MR Administrators, C&Y Administrators, Human Services Administrators, and county Human Resource Office staff.
  • Provides advice, guidance, training and assistance to field Human Resource Offices on all Division activities.

Division of Human Resource Field Operations

  • Organizes and directs DHS field HR functions. Partners with BHR Headquarters (HQ) and local management to ensure HR services are responsive and revised as needed.
  • Ensures field HR operations consistently apply Commonwealth HR policies, as well as comply with the Civil Service Act and bargaining
    unit agreements.
  • Provides a wide range of HR services to field sites including: Recruitment and Placement, Classification and Pay, Labor Relations, Work Related Injury, Time, Performance Management, Workforce Planning and Reporting and other miscellaneous HR functions.
  • Ensure field HR staff has an awareness of program office objectives and actively support those objectives through the HR services provided.
  • Ensures best practices are shared between field HR operations.
  • Partners with BHR HQ and Governor’s Office staff in the planning and implementation of new HR systems and/or procedures.
  • Explores and acts upon opportunities to establish shared services arrangements or to consolidate HR operations to reduce DHS’ field HR operations’ expenditures.

Division of Workforce Development and Training

  • Designs, implements and evaluates employee training and development programs to ensure quality learning experiences consistent with the goals of the administration.
  • Develops DHS training plans consistent with commonwealth policy and goals.
  • Conducts annual needs assessments and develops an annual training plan to meet standards established by the Governor’s Office of Administration.
  • Develops and implements training programs that support the DHS mission, consistent with workforce planning priorities, equal employment opportunity goals, and individual learning needs.
  • Recruits and develops DHS staff to serve as adjunct trainers thereby utilizing the knowledge and talent in the workforce and providing opportunities for personal and career development.
  • Supports workforce development by ensuring awareness of training opportunities available through the Keystone Academy for Learning (KAL), sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Administration.
  • Conducts the Supervisors Academy for the development of DHS’s new supervisors. These courses include mandatory subject matter for new supervisors and provide learning opportunities on management and leadership best practices.
  • Conducts program specific management needs assessments in order to develop and implement training programs relevant to the program’s goals and workplace needs.
  • Develops and conducts classroom and web-based training programs to establish or enhance management core competencies relative to best practices and business standards.
  • Conducts the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) program for upper level management. LDI provides an intensive eight month program designed to develop leadership potential in order to effectively serve the DHS of tomorrow.
  • Consults with organizational leaders to assist and facilitate team building, problem solving and decision-making initiatives.
  • Creates, organizes and administers internships and entry-level trainee programs to develop the workforce by bringing into DHS new talent that will impact succession planning initiatives and goals.
  • Evaluates and gives final approval for out-service training requests from employees seeking to access training opportunities provided outside of the commonwealth’s training sources.
  • Represents DHS within the commonwealth’s training community to ensure implementation of best training practices and use of innovative technologies.
  • Responds to requests within DHS to provide topic-specific training to meet workplace need and provide training opportunities at scheduled events.