Press Releases

Can You Trust Your HR and Benefits Library to Deliver Accurate Guidance? 

Norwalk, CT. – March 28th, 2017: Brokers of every size provide their clients with access to online Human Resources (HR) libraries to help keep them compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and many federal and state labor laws. But are these libraries accurate and current?

Even more pressing, can an HR library keep up with reporting on changing requirements related to complicated new national health insurance laws that have been initiated by the Republicans in 2017? 

When a broker provides access to an incorrect or out-of-date HR library, it is a direct reflection on the broker who provided access to the library.  There could also be serious implications for a broker’s clients, such as exposure to federal and state penalties, employee litigation, and a potential U.S. Department of Labor audit.

For many busy brokers, a 45-minute “demo” or tour of an HR library is sufficient to make a purchasing decision. That is not enough time, however, to properly assess the quality of an HR library’s content or tools, including newsletters and alerts.  

The following tips will help brokers ensure that they are subscribing to a high-quality HR library dedicated to providing accurate and timely guidance, news, and best practices:

  • Determine the number of years the publisher has actually been managing their online HR library. Anything less than five years of management experience could be problematic, as online libraries are complex. Nothing takes the place of hands-on experience in managing the editors, attorneys, and technologists necessary for supporting a high-quality library.
  • Identify the number of staff attorneys on the editorial team, and establish that they are actual employees of the HR library, rather than consultants. The problem with consultants or an affiliation with a law firm is that you have no idea how many attorneys are dedicated to maintaining the library full-time, and it must be a full-time job. A well-managed HR library should have at least five attorneys on staff.
  • Learn how long it takes to report a new or amended law on the HR library site—it should generally take no longer than 24-48 hours (excluding non-business days).
  • If customizable PDF compliance checklists and guides are provided, the last date the PDF was updated or reviewed should be located on the document. Select an ACA-related document and see if the date is current. There is nothing worse than emailing a client a white paper or checklist with outdated information.
  • Identify at least two competing HR libraries and compare the federal and state compliance news alerts featured on each site. If one site has considerably fewer news items, they are not keeping up with changing laws or deadlines. As a result, their compliance content could be outdated.
  • Beware of high-pressure sales tactics. If it feels like an endless cycle of sales calls, there could be something wrong.
  • Be careful of question and answer sections in an HR library that address HR issues specific to other companies. Guidance can vary based on the individual facts and circumstances of a workplace situation, in addition to specific state laws that may apply. Therefore, using an answer provided to another business is not a prudent way to solve an individual company's problem.

Comments Lillian Shapiro, President of HR360: "In my 20 years of experience publishing online HR libraries, the industry has come a long way with responsive user interfaces and interactive tools. However, no product should ever be purchased unless the content is accurate and timely. The risk to brokers and their clients is just too great, so compliance must be the absolute top priority."  For more information regarding avoiding the pitfalls of inaccurate online HR libraries, please contact Lillian Shapiro at lillian@hr360.com.

About HR360
HR360 is an SaaS platform that provides comprehensive, easy-to-navigate human resource and benefits compliance guidance and news on both federal and state HR laws. Written and maintained by a team of attorneys, HR360's HR library enables employers to successfully manage their employees while complying with ever-changing employment and benefits laws. HR360 also features a variety of interactive HR tools, including a Job Description Builder, Employee Handbook Builder, and a Benefits Notices Generator. For more information about HR360, please visit HR360.com.