Another update from the Jungle…
Doris is the HR director for her company. She’s studied diligently to obtain several certifications from SHRM and she goes to plenty of training seminars, and not just because she needs the HRCI credits. She genuinely wants to learn so that she can help her company avoid employee problems.
But sometimes Doris wishes she had a colleague at her company to help with HR questions, especially when she can’t find answers to her questions. She misses her co-workers from her old job, even the obnoxious self-absorbed ones, because at least there was someone with whom she could share the responsibility for ensuring the company “stayed legal”.
Now when she has HR questions, she has to do all the research herself. She starts with the resources available on the SHRM website. If she can’t find answers to her HR questions in those resources, she uses the on-line HR library provided free by the insurance broker that sold her company a group health plan. Most insurance brokers offer on-line HR resources such as Zywave/MyWave or HR360.
The on-line HR materials provide general information but not always the details to answer her questions. These are the days when Doris wishes that she had a colleague to help her puzzle her way to an answer.
What are Doris’ options?
- She can continue going it alone, occasionally asking a question on SHRM’s on-line forum for HR professionals.
- She can ask the insurance broker’s staff for assistance, but they look at the same on-line resources as her. Or they may ask the insurer’s compliance staff for help if her question relates to the group health plan.
- She can consult an employment law attorney but she’s usually asking questions involving established law; not asking a question that requires legal advice.
The above scenario represents dozens of situations faced by my company. As an HR consultant to an insurance broker, I helped their employer-clients understand established legal issues related to their employees. This often meant helping their HR people dig into the details of employment law regulations. If a question could not be answered based on established law, I referred the client to an employment law attorney. If you’re the solo HR representative for your company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help.
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