Connect Your Source for Zoo and Aquarium News and InsightsHow to Post Jobs

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, Commercial Members, Conservation Partners and Society Partners may post free unlimited online job listings as a member benefit. Non-members can purchase job listings. How to post a job

Career Center

Interested in a career in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums? Learn more about types of zoo and aquarium jobs and relevant education programs in our career center.

Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo

Benefits Administrator

Administering Benefits at the Zoo!
The Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo is known throughout the world as a leader in animal welfare and conservation and our dedicated staff have a true sense of purpose and commitment. 

Brookfield Zoo offers a dynamic work environment and family friendly atmosphere. As the Benefits Administrator, your strong customer service approach in administering comprehensive welfare/401k retirement benefits and leaves of absence will directly support the Society’s goals of being an Institution of Choice employer.  In this position, you will focus on meeting the needs of our ~500+ full-time and temporary employees in a union, non-union environment utilizing your strong project management skills and attention to details ensuring compliance with regulations and policies.

The Benefits Administrator contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by effectively handling administration of various aspects of the organization’s benefits programs, leaves of absence, and employee wellness activities in support of the Society’s goal to attract and retain a high-performing workforce.

The primary duties and responsibilities include: 


  • Provide support to the Director, Employee Benefits (“Director”) in administering day-to-day aspects of the Society’s group health, life, and disability plan, employee retirement plan and associated policies and procedures.  Assists with annual audit and reporting requirements.  Responds to employee inquiries and provides excellent customer service.    
  • Responsible for leave of absence management.  Assure compliance with pertinent regulations and Society policies.  Ensure leave of absence vendor files are accurate and complete.  Assist staff with Time & Attendance tracking and Paid Time Off related to leaves.  Work with Director on non-standard leaves and special circumstances.  
  • Notify and coordinate with the Director of Human Resources on ADA leaves, reasonable accommodations requested and non-FMLA leaves. Coordinates with the Safety Department on workers’ compensation/FMLA leaves.  Work with employees who file short and long-term disability claims.  Coordinate life insurance claims and waivers of premium, if applicable.  
  • Manage the Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”).  Plan and implement wellness activities, promotions, and events, such as Health Fairs, employee communications, and education sessions.  Investigate trends, options, and make recommendations to enhance wellness program offerings and program with a focus on promoting healthy lifestyles, prevention, and cost containment.   
  • Conduct new hire benefits orientation and enrollment for eligible staff.  Prepare for and conduct annual benefits enrollment process with the Director.  Reconcile and process accurate and timely monthly billings for insurance payments. Generate COBRA paperwork for eligible recipients.  Process COBRA and retiree remittances, update budget, work with Finance to resolve inquiries, and assist Director with benefit annual renewals, contracts, and RFPs.
  • Provide support to the Director in conducting benefit and leave self-audits.  Assure compliance with and keep abreast of IRS, IRC, DOL, FMLA, FLSA, ADA, ACA, COBRA, HIPAA, and other regulations pertinent to benefits and leaves.  Ensure distribution of required employee notices. Assist in the required training of staff on compliance as requested.  
  • Under general supervision, assist with projects related to the development and implementation of strategy, communications, and process improvement for employee benefits, wellness, leaves, and other HR initiatives.  Work with Director and/or Sr. Vice President of Human Resources to implement HRIS customizations related to benefits and leaves and maintain assigned information.  Assist in writing and reviewing pertinent policies and procedures related to these functions.  Ensures Intranet and on-line content is accurate and up to date related to benefits, leaves and employee discounts.
  • Proactively work with Marketing Sponsorship staff, retailers, and Chambers of Commerce, etc. to secure and promote discounts to offer to CZS staff with Director and Sr. Vice President of Human Resources approval.  
  • Perform other related duties as assigned or requested to assure successful achievement of the Society’s objectives.

Experience Required

The requirements for this position include the following: • Associates degree in Human Resources or related field or equivalent of four years directly relevant experience required; High School or equivalent (GED) required. • Five years of experience with employee health & welfare benefits and plan administration and 401(k) retirement benefits. • One year of experience with full-cycle administration of leaves of absence. • Knowledge of relevant benefits laws, including but not limited to those related to 401(k)/defined contribution plans, benefits discrimination testing, ACA, ADA, FMLA, HIPAA, COBRA, and GINA. • Ability to work independently and move needed tasks forward without prompting. • Strong organizational, project management skills and a high level of attention to detail, completeness, and accuracy. Excellent follow-up/follow through skills are essential. • Strong figure aptitude, analytical thinking and data analysis skills. • English fluency at a working professional proficiency required. • Strong communications, listening, and interpersonal skills. Ability to compose communications that are well written, grammatically correct and in standard business format. Good proofreading skills essential. • Strong focus on customer service and working as a business partner. Strong decision-making and problem-solving ability. Must be flexible and adaptable. • Ability to deal with emergent issues, multiple projects, and staff simultaneously. • Proactive, able to see the big picture, and anticipate and resolve issues. • Ability to maintain confidentiality of privileged information. • Intermediate computer proficiency with Windows, Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and benefits/HRIS software. • Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines. • Cultural competency; experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. The preferred qualifications include: • C.E.B.S. training or other training/SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification a plus. • Prior experience with leave management software, employee/benefits self-service software, and/or managing, working with third-party leave administrator desirable. • Experience managing an employee wellness program a plus. • Intermediate computer proficiency with Windows 10, Microsoft Office 365, and SharePoint software desirable. • Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus. Additional Information: This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform. This is a professional, salaried position that serves as the righthand to the Director of Benefits. Incumbent provides primary support to the Director and to employees for the benefits function. Incumbent is expected to gain a thorough understanding of the Society’s benefit plans and policies and will ongoingly be mentored by the Director to be cross-trained on higher-level responsibilities to position the incumbent as a strong candidate for succession for the Director of Benefits position. Must be responsible, trustworthy, resilient and able to work in a fast-paced environment. Must be very service oriented, assertive, yet tactful and polite. Must be comfortable working in an environment that is mission and values driven. Some local travel and early mornings or evenings may be required. Occasional workweeks in excess of 40 hours. The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Offered benefits include a Group Health Plan (with employer contribution and no waiting period!) with a choice of PPO or HMO medical, Civil Union Partnership Benefits, PPO dental, Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Employee Benefits Expense Account (EBEA), Life Insurance, AD&D, Disability (STD, LTD), Vision, 401k with employer match, accrued PTO, and paid holidays. The work location for this position is on-site at Brookfield Zoo with potential opportunity to work a hybrid on-site/remote work schedule. Workplace safety is the Chicago Zoological Society’s top priority. We require all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they request and receive a religious or medical exemption. New hires must have at least received their first vaccine dose prior to their start date. (Updated 9/16/22)

How to Apply

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile.  Please visit our website at  Please use the Advanced Search feature to look for requisition number 2391BR.

Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo
3300 Golf Road
Brookfield, IL 60513

Visit our website

I Accept

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.