Senior Payroll and Benefits Associate @ The Climate Reality Project

Senior Payroll and Benefits Associate


Department: People
Reports to: Director of People
Direct Reports: None
Salary Band: $75,000
Classification: Full Time, Exempt
Location: Washington DC


The Climate Reality Project is a nonprofit organization founded by former US Vice President Al Gore. Our mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every sector of society.

At The Climate Reality Project, we come to work every day to help solve the climate crisis. We do it by working from the ground up, empowering people and communities worldwide to fight for their future and together drive a just transition to clean energy.

We are committed to building a more just and equitable world, one where all voices are heard and respected regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or physical ability. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other historically marginalized communities. We encourage applicants to read our diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice statement on our website.

Our Washington, DC office is open. Our current policy is a hybrid approach where our staff will come to our office two days a week.


The People Department is seeking a skilled and experienced Senior Payroll & Benefits Associate. The role administers the activities relating to the organization’s payroll, benefits and HRIS processing including developing, implementing, and monitoring (e.g., performing internal audit and control procedures to ensure that all wages and taxes are accurate). The individual will be the company’s subject matter expert and will be the first point of contact with all payroll, benefits, and HRIS administration.



  • Process payroll for hourly, salaried, and temporary employees; including reviewing and importing hours from time and attendance system, entering tax and direct deposit information, administering regulatory requirements, e.g., garnishments, tax levies, and support orders, and other adjustments to pay as necessary.
  • Process and administer leave of absence requests, disability paperwork, they can also interpret
  • FMLA and ADA implications as they relate to those leaves of absences.
  • Implement and maintain payroll best practices to improve efficiency and consult with human resources team to improve payroll and HRIS processes.
  • Evaluate and implement payroll/HRIS systems upgrades and changes.
  • Prepare quarterly tax credit reports and submit to third party vendor.
  • Respond to all unemployment claims in a timely manner.
  • Coordinates and conducts payroll training for new hires.
  • Maintain employee records in payroll/HRIS systems.
  • Administer the time and attendance policy and paid leave policy for all employees.
  • Produces scheduled and ad-hoc reports pertaining to payroll and human resources requirements.


  • Administer all employee benefit programs including enrollments and terminations.
  • Manage all 401K contributions and transactions including responding to inquiries from employees regarding plan provisions.
  • Coordinates and conducts the new employee benefits onboarding process and presents presentations to ensure employees gain an understanding of benefit plans and enrollment provisions.
  • Works with Legal Team to fulfill all governmental regulatory mandates and ensures filings are performed as required.
  • Plans and administers annual open enrollment period. This includes preparation (or revision) and distribution of materials, conducting meetings to communicate changes to employees, arranging for on-site representation by providers, and processing changes within deadlines.
  • Plans, conducts, and reports results of audits to ensure all enrollments are accurate and that dependent information is correct for each employee and works closely with Finance Team for quarterly and year end audits (payroll, Workers Comp, 401k, etc.).
  • Addresses benefit inquiries to ensure timely and accurate resolutions. Maintains contact with employees and beneficiaries to facilitate proper and complete utilization of benefits for all employees.
  • Processes monthly billings from providers. Reviews billings for accuracy and approves for payment in a timely manner. Resolves discrepancies with carriers and payroll.
  • Coordinate with third party administrator to manage disability claims according to the plan.
  • Administers online COBRA enrollments/changes and responds to and manages unemployment claims and workers compensation cases.


  • Strong understanding of Human Resources processes and terminology, payroll and benefit processes and procedures, including eligibility and enrollment rules and benefit procedures.
  • A solid working knowledge of ADP WFN payroll and HRIS system.
  • Familiarity with GUSTO, Paylocity and Paycom are a plus.
  • Familiarity with benefit package design and benefits brokers.
  • Must have a high level of interpersonal skills to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
  • Demonstrates exceptional analytical skills and ability to create useful and actionable reports from data.
  • Has shown ability to respond quickly and accurately to requests for data, ability to provide excellent customer service a must.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Possess high-level organization skills and ability to complete multiple tasks and high volume of work on deadline.
  • Excellent time management and follow through skills.
  • Possess a creative outlook with a problem-solving attitude.


  • At least 5 years of experience administering payroll, HRIS and benefits processes required. Work experience should include knowledge of basic human resources, payroll practices, benefits administration, and compliance or other related experience.


  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.


The Climate Reality Project has adopted a competency-based approach to job definition, hiring, performance assessment, and professional development. The following are our seven organization-wide competencies and examples of how they manifest for this role.

  1. Teamwork and Collaboration: Actively listens to others and seeks to understand diverse perspectives; builds and sustains collaborative teams; demonstrates the ability to effectively supervise.
  2. Flexibility and Adaptability: Demonstrates the ability to adapt to changing priorities and circumstances; takes initiative to solve problems, improve processes, and/or achieve outcomes; learns quickly when faced with new situations or systems.
  3. Written and Verbal Communication: Written communication is clear and concise; verbal communication is intentional and straightforward; provides timely and helpful information across the organization as needed; clearly conveys objectives, deadlines, and expectations to supervisees.
  4. Time and Project Management: Manages multiple competing priorities, tasks, and projects effectively, appropriately seeking help from others when needed; assigns work that is both manageable and appropriate to supervisees’ level of experience; gathers and provides relevant information to support effective decision-making.
  5. Professional Development: Actively learns through experimentation when tackling new problems, using both successes and failures as learning fodder; supports supervisees’ professional development by providing opportunities to put skills into practice; connects supervisees to other advocates, experts, mentors, and resources and to substantive training opportunities.
  6. Climate Justice: Works to understand and achieve anti-racist principles to disrupt the systems of white supremacy, privilege, classism, sexism, and racism; seeks to understand how systemic racism and environmental injustice impact individuals and frontline and fenceline communities; works to promote a welcoming and inclusive environment in Climate Reality spaces (workplace, events, trainings, and other convenings).
  7. Climate Reality Mission and Focus: Is passionate about Climate Reality’s role and mission and can act as a Climate Reality ambassador to a diverse set of audiences; stays up-to-date on climate trends, impacts and solutions.


In addition to organization-wide competencies, each role has its own competencies. Below are examples of how each competency manifests in this role.

  1. Cultural Awareness: Approaches decisions (including vendor selections) with a sustainability framework; plans bi- or multi-lingual events in countries outside of the United States; works effectively with international attendees and vendors.
  2. Technology and Data Systems: Stays up-to-date on current and new technology and data systems.
  3. Interpersonal Skills: Represents the division in organizational meetings and projects; represents Climate Reality at events and in the environmental community.
  4. Leadership and Management: Identifies risks and troubleshoots obstacles encountered during the planning and implementation processes; analyzes payroll and benefit trends; and provides best practices and updates to payroll and benefit regulations or other tangential topics.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Climate Reality, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your experience does not align perfectly with every qualification in this job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

The Climate Reality Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, disability or any other category prohibited by local, state or federal law. This policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, placement, promotion, transfer, demotion, compensation, benefits, social and recreational activities and termination.


Send a resume and cover letter to: [email protected] and put Senior Payroll and Benefits Associate in the subject line.


Excellent benefits, including employer paid 100% employee medical, life, dental, vision. 401K, Paid Parental Leave and other fringe benefits such as wellness days, vacation and sick time are all included.

How to Apply

Send a resume and cover letter to: [email protected] and put Senior Payroll and Benefits Associate in the subject line.


Washington, District of Columbia, United States




2023-06-12 00:00