EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in Industry, News

On July 14th, the EEOC issued the first update to its pregnancy discrimination guidelines in 30 years. In the the Enforcement Guidance released on the EEOC Website, the comission addressed how the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended in 2008 should be applied individuals who have pregnancy-related disabilities. The commission posted a Q&A document and Fact Sheet.

Among other issues, the guidance discussed:

  • The fact that the PDA covers not only current pregnancy, but discrimination based on past pregnancy and a woman's potential to become pregnant;
  • Lactation as a covered pregnancy-related medical condition;
  • The circumstances under which employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers;
  • Issues related to leave for pregnancy and for medical conditions related to pregnancy;
  • The PDA's prohibition against requiring pregnant workers who are able to do their jobs to take leave;
  • The requirement that parental leave (which is distinct from medical leave associated with childbearing or recovering from childbirth) be provided to similarly situated men and women on the same terms;
  • When employers may have to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with pregnancy-related impairments under the ADA and the types of accommodations that may be necessary; and
  • Best practices for employers to avoid unlawful discrimination against pregnant workers.

For more information, visit http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy_guidance.cfm

EEO data collection and reporting functions are standard with PCRecruiter. Anyone wishing to collect and track EEO data in their recruitment process can seek information or a demonstration by contacting their PCRecruiter representative.

The Canadian Anti Spam Law affects recruiters worldwide.

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in Industry, News, Topics

The Canadian Anti Spam Law (CASL), which was designed to stop spam from being sent to Canadians, goes into effect July 1, 2014. Many people remain unfamiliar with the law, even within Canada, despite its serious potential impact for any business that sends commercial email to Canadian recipients. So what is this law and how does it affect recruiters, staffing agencies, and HR sourcing pros?

WHAT does CASL apply to?

In short, any email, text, or direct social networking message that actively or passively promotes your services or your current job openings could be placed into the category of communications affected by this law.

  • CASL applies to any "Commercial Electronic Message" (CEM). A CEM is defined as any electronic message (emails, texts, some social media messages) that contains a message which encourages the recipient to take part in some type of commercial activity. This includes e-newsletters that contain a link to a sponsor's website, client satisfaction surveys, mass emails providing general information about your business or organization, etc. It also covers emails requesting consent to send future emails.
  • There are exemptions from the rule for certain types of messages. For example, you are allowed to send a single CEM to someone without prior consent based on a referral, as long as the full name of the person making the referral is disclosed in the message.

WHO does CASL apply to?

The law is very broad, applying to all CEMs sent to anyone in Canada or by anyone in Canada.

  • CASL stipulates that Commercial Electronic Messages cannot be sent TO or FROM anyone in Canada without express prior consent. Even if your company is outside of Canada, any emails sent to Canadian jobseekers, partners, or clients fall under the stipulations of the law. Although it may prove difficult to prosecute violators outside of Canada, the the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has stated that it will work with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US, and other regulatory commissions to enforce this law.
  • There are exemptions from the "express consent" rule for limited periods of time and under certain "implied consent" circumstances. Implied consent includes recipients who have made a purchase or your product or service, made a business deal, contract, or membership with your organization in the past 24 months. Implied consent also includes a 6-month period following an application or inquiry. If you haven't gotten express consent to continue sending CEMs within the implied consent period, you are required to stop sending CEMs at the end of the 6-month or 24-month time frame.

WHAT are the penalties for violating CASL?

Unlike other anti-spam rules (such as the USA's 'CAN-SPAM' law) Canada's anti-spam law has been given very large, sharp teeth.

  • The maximum administrative penalty for a violation by a business is $10 million, and directors and officers may be personally liable for their company's violations.
  • Individuals can be fined up to $1 Million.
  • Up until June 30, 2017, the penalties will be administrative only. After July 1, 2017, the law allows individual suits against violators. Receivers of illegal messages can sue for $200 per individual transgression up to $1 Million per day. Additional penalties may be levied for altering transmission data and other violations.

HOW can I comply with CASL?

Some of the stipulations for complying with CASL are the same as those for complying with the US CAN-SPAM law. Make sure that your emails include the following:

  • Your name (or the name by which you conduct business if different) in your messages.
  • Your physical mailing address plus either a telephone number, web address, or email address in your messages.
  • A link to a method of unsubscribing from future messages which takes effect within 10 days.

In addition to the above, but differing from CAN-SPAM:

  • Recipients must give express consent to receive your messages. This consent can be oral or written, although written consent is clearly better should questions arise.
  • You must retain a record of your consent confirmations.
  • Methods for collecting consent via a form must be clear and affirmative. The person opting in must check a box or perform some other action which is clearly marked with a description of its purpose. Asking the person to un-check a pre-checked box is not allowed.

HOW can PCRecruiter help me comply?

Although PCRecruiter has offered "unsubscribe" tracking for many years, the new CASL law has generated changes in how email is handled.  The next system update will include an 'opt-in / opt-out' function which can be used in form letters, custom forms, email signatures, and job board links. The system will also include methods for tracking the 6-month and 24-month 'implicit' permission allowed under the law.   The system will apply these settings automatically when sending email communications.  PCRecruiter also gains new options for adding and removing multiple email addresses from the opt-in/out lists, as well as capabilities for exporting and importing email addresses in CSV format.

If you send email to anyone in Canada, or you operate business in Canada, you will want to become familiar with this new law and make sure that your electronic communications comply with it.  This information is not intended as an offering of legal advice; please consult with your applicable legal authority regarding the CASL or any other compliance activities that you may undertake.  

If you desire assistance with implementing features in PCRecruiter, please contact your Main Sequence representative.
 

Zero-Day Vulnerability in Internet Explorer

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in News

On April 26, 2014 Microsoft released Security Advisory 2963983 for Microsoft Internet Explorer. This issue is a zero-day vulnerability, which means the exploit depends on a flaw already present in affected systems. There is steady activity underway at Microsoft and the various security product vendors such as McAfee and Symantec to mitigate this risk.

Because this issue is non-specific to PCRecruiter and involves the administration of our customer's computer systems, Main Sequence has no recommendation on the use / non-use or configuration of Internet Explorer. PCRecruiter offers Java downloads for use with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers, but we have not tested all versions of those browsers in all possible environments.

Reports indicate that operating Internet Explorer with "Enhanced Protected Mode" configured or using the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) version 4.1 or the new 5.0 Tech Preview edition will avoid the vulnerability. PCRecruiter has been tested to a limited extent with "Enhanced Protected Mode" and appears to operate normally. You will need to ensure that EMET is configured to protect IE if you select that option.

If you experience unexpected system behavior when using PCRecruiter with any browser, our technical support staff can process error reports and work with you to resolve issues.

Please see this item regarding the vulnerability for more information:

http://blog.securestate.com/cve-2014-1776-internet-explorer-0-day-vulnerability/

PCRecruiter not susceptible to the ‘Heartbleed’ Bug

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in News

On April 7th, 2014, a serious security vulnerability was publicly announced in the popular OpenSSL software library, which is used by many web systems for encrypting and decrypting data. The bug opens up the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. If exploited, attackers could eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

Are PCRecruiter databases affected by this issue?

PCRecruiter software runs on web servers which do not use the OpenSSL library by default and therefore are not vulnerable to the exploit.

If you are a PCRecruiter user concerened that your password may have been compromised by use with another website, you may wish to use the 'Change My Password' option on the MyPCR screen to update your password.  It's a 'best practice' to change passwords regularly.

Your PCRecruiter system administrator may also select a strong password mode. In this mode:

  • Users must have secure passwords that include a mix of upper and lower case alpha characters, numbers, and special characters
  • Users will be prompted to change passwords regularly.
  • Users will be restricted from the use of common elements such as days of the week, months of the year, and their user name in the password.

For more information on security practices in PCRecruiter, contact your representative.

For more information on the Heartbleed bug, see http://www.heartbleed.com/

Introducing PCRecruiter 9

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in News

PCR 9 All-New UIMain Sequence is currently beta-testing PCRecruiter 9, the most extensive update we've released since PCRecruiter made the leap from the desktop to the cloud over a dozen years ago.

The new PCRecruiter is currently in the hands of an initial group of customers for evaluation that is expected to span several weeks. We are planning for two rounds of beta testing, followed by a phased rollout to our online and self-hosted customers. All users will maintain the option for 12 to 18 months to use either the new version 9 or the final maintenance updates of the PCRecruiter 8.xx generation.

If you would like to be considered for the second round of beta testing, email Professional Services Manager Liz Annable at lannable@mainsequence.net.

Once PCRecruiter 9 is released for general use, what can you look forward to?

Completely Revised User Interface

  • PCRecruiter 9 presents a completely overhauled user interface that’s is cleaner and easier to use than ever before.
  • We’ve re-built it using HTML 5 and standard web frameworks to streamline, simplify, and modernize your user experience.
  • Our menus have been re-structured to separate ‘navigation items’ from ‘action items.’ Finding your way around in PCR 9 is a snap, both for new users and seasoned pros.
  • The updated MyPCR home screen has a fresh new look with visualizations for your key metrics.
  • A new log-in screen makes it easier than ever to keep up on the latest info on PCRecruiter.
  • If you’ve got photos stored in your name records, you’ll now see them in your ‘recently viewed’ record list.
  • Overlays and progress bars keep your experience confined to a single browser window, with fewer pop-ups and new windows to manage.
  • Maximize and minimize panels with a single click to see more of your data than ever before.

Even More Configurable

  • PCR 9 Screen Config ToolPCRecruiter has always been the most user-configurable staffing and recruiting system available, and PCR 9 makes configuration faster and more flexible with a new drag-and-drop system.
  • Configure your name, organization and job layouts with field groups and custom labels.
  • Drag-and-drop configuration utilities also extend to your search options and search results.
  • PCRecruiter 9 is all about putting what you need front and center and reducing distractions.

Streamlined Document Handling

  • The PCRecruiter 9 launcher opens your Word, Excel, and other documents directly in Microsoft Office, Open Office, and other WebDAV-enabled suites. Just click, edit your file in its native software application, and re-save back to the database instantly.
  • Resumes can now be viewed and exported in PDF format for easy download or emailing.
  • Custom resume headers have been consolidated, using a single image-based header for all of your resume documents, regardless of format.

New HTML Editor

  • New PCR 9 HTML EditorOur all-new HTML editor for job descriptions, emails, and form letters operates completely within the browser, requiring no local installation, for a seamless editing experience regardless of platform.
  • The new editor is more adept at recognizing and appropriately converting proprietary content generated by Microsoft Office, such as Word and Outlook documents.

Simple, Searchable Menus

  • Primary and record-level menus are easily adjusted with drag/drop and pin/un-pin utilities, hiding the items you don’t use regularly for easier, faster navigation.
  • The deeper menus, such as the Reports and System areas, are now quickly navigable with keyword search boxes. Just start typing the name of the item you’re looking for and your options appear instantly.

Enhanced Emailing Capabilities

  • Outbound email screens now instantly notify you when an email address is already in your database.
  • Click on the email addresses in your ‘To’, ‘Cc’ and ‘Bcc’ fields to view and edit the contact record quickly.

Enterprise Platform Improvements

  • PCR 9 Login ScreenPCRecruiter 9 is more than just a pretty face. The new version is powered by Microsoft's most current web development framework and modern JavaScript libraries, setting the stage for easier development and more rapid deployment of PCRecruiter's new-feature roadmap which, like the new user interface, is completely updated for 2014-2015 with items designed to enhance recruiter performance in any setting.

New Training Materials

  • We know how important it is to grasp new tools quickly. That’s why PCRecruiter 9 includes not only in-screen help options, but also an entirely new learning center with a growing list of how-to documents and videos.

And this is only the beginning. Main Sequence sees PCRecruiter 9 as the launching point for a new era in interface power, integrations and innovation, all designed to make your job easier. Watch for more information soon!