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By Elizabeth Rice, SPHR

The overwhelming phenomenon of social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn has alternately sparked excitement, concern, and controversy among businesses everywhere: excitement about the abundant marketing opportunities these networks provide; concern about the growing lack of image control companies have as a result; and controversy over whether or not today’s employees are spending too many of their work hours socializing online, and fewer hours actually working.

Like it or not, social media is here to stay. And some savvy employers are making the most of it with an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” philosophy toward social networking sites, blogs, online videos, and more. Rather than viewing these outlets simply as a threat to employee productivity and company image, these businesses have begun utilizing social media as a helpful (and free) tool for screening potential job candidates, checking up on new hires, and monitoring current employees.

But are these screening techniques legal? Below is a look at both the benefits and liabilities of using social media to monitor prospects and employees.

Social Media as the New Background Check

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It’s long been suspected that employers use social networks to take a “behind the scenes” peek at job applicants, but just how common is the practice? The answer, according to a recent report by CareerBuilder, is very common: nearly half of employers surveyed said they use sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn to research potential hires. Furthermore, 35% of survey respondents said they decided not to offer a job to a candidate based on the content uncovered in these searches. Among the most frequently-cited reasons for not hiring these prospects were the discovery of provocative photos, references to drinking and drug use, poor online communication skills, and online bad-mouthing of previous employers.

Checking prospective hires via social media has become so commonplace, in fact, that it recently inspired the launch of a new startup company called “Social Intelligence.” The company, which launched in September 2010, provides a screening and monitoring service that tracks an individual’s social media activity on various networks, and then screens it for employer-designated red flags like gang involvement, drug use, and demonstrations of potentially violent behavior. According to Forbes, Social Intelligence “is essentially taking the traditional background checks commonly used by corporate HR departments…and moving them online to track social media networks.” The company’s reports filter out legally sensitive information such as sexual orientation, race, or religion, and the data is manually reviewed before being distributed to prospective employers. Social Intelligence’s CEO Max Drucker says that the service helps companies perform due dilligence with regard to hiring and risk management, while protecting prospective employees from discrimination.

And social media monitoring isn’t just limited to job applicants; some companies are using it to check up on current employees as well. Accodring to a 2009 survey from the American Management Association, 52% of U.S. employers have fired employees for email and web violations. Stories are widely circulated about instances when an employee has been disciplined or even terminated for posting negative content about an employer on social media outlets like Facebook and personal blogs. Companies claim these actions provide legal grounds for termination, arguing that such content is damaging to their corporate image and negatively impacts business. Notable examples include the 2009 instances in which employees of fast-food purveyors Domino’s and KFC took video and photos of their unsanitary use of the restaurants’ food and equipment, posted the material on YouTube and MySpace, and caused an overnight uproar (for which all employees involved were immediately fired). Meanwhile, other employees have been caught red-handed when, after calling in “sick” to miss work, they subsequently (and foolishly) posted online updates and pictures of themselves spending the day at a party or on vacation. For example, acccording to New York’s Daily News, more than a dozen Department of Education employees were recently fired for “faking illnesses to take vacations.” Among the clues that tipped off coworkers and administrators were vacation photos the offenders had publicly posted on their Facebook profiles.

Staying Aware of the Legal Pitfalls

Though social media can undoubtedly be used to a company’s advantage, employers must also be aware of some inherent risks that come with exploring this new terrain. Because social media and the so-called “blogosphere” are relatively uncharted territory for the workplace, the law is currently racing to keep pace with what is and isn’t legal when it comes to screening, while large companies are hurrying to develop written employee policies pertaining to social media. The good news is that, for now, much of the judgment about social media falls in favor of employers. A recent report by the Ocala Business Journal attests that checking social media sites and making subsequent hiring or termination decisions about employees and prospective hires is well within a company’s legal rights, because an employee could potentially affect an employer’s reputation. According to the article, “employers doing background checks [often] ask if it’s legal to check social media sites to find out more about potential employees. It is.” Employees questioning the validity and legality of these searches are typically told that, although the actions posted online may have been performed off the clock, they still have the capacity to affect a company’s reputation. “One major impact of social media is the line between professional and personal lives has blurred,” the article says. “Social media is impacting hiring as well as termination.” Likewise, Social Intelligence CEO Drucker attests that his company’s methods are compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and that the onus falls on the employee or job seeker to use discretion in posting anything online. “People need to exercise good judgment and understand that what they post publicly is public, and an employer has a right to know about it,” he says.

When it comes to searching an employee or prospect’s social media presence, the legitimate risk for employers lies in potentially violating anti-discrimination and privacy laws. According to the National Law Review, “an employer’s examination of an employee’s or potential hire’s social network sites may provide the basis for claims under employment discrimination statutes if the employer used [these] methods to seek out information that was legally protected in some way.” Such legally protected data includes religion, ethnicity, political affiliations, gender, or sexual orientation: all information that is readily available on many Facebook profiles. “If plaintiffs can show that they were discriminated against in the hiring process, or wrongfully terminated based on information gleaned from updates on Twitter, pictures on Facebook, or accounts on their personal blogs,” the National Law Review asserts, “the employers will surely be held liable under the pertinent anti-discrimination statutes.”

Another employer risk is gaining information online by engaging in what is known as “social engineering:” manipulating an individual into granting access to his or her otherwise private online networks. When it comes to social media, examples of these spy techniques might include trying to “friend” an individual on Facebook for the purpose of looking at his or her otherwise private, personal information, or requesting access to a password-protected blog not accessible to the general public. In these cases, an employee or prospective hire may allege that such actions constitute an invasion of privacy, since the employee or applicant has demonstrated a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to their social media accounts by protecting them with passwords and making them accessible on a case-by-case basis.

In summary, employers who aren’t already doing so may want to begin exploring social media as a potential vetting tool, while keeping in mind that the laws pertaining to these practices could change as social media continues to find its place in the workforce. Perhaps more importantly, employees and job seekers should pay careful attention to what they choose to share publicly online, taking to heart the old adage that “some things are better left unsaid” – or, in this case, unposted.

About the Author: Elizabeth Rice, SPHR, is the President of Innovative Employee Solutions , a San Diego-based company specializing in nationwide payroll and HR administrative services for the contingent workforce. Ms. Rice has more than 25 years of experience in HR and executive management.

Source: isnare.com

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Wikinews interviews Sandra Jephcott, Sustainable Australia candidate for 2020 Groom by-election

Friday, November 27, 2020

Voters in the Australian electoral district of Groom are scheduled to go to the polls in a by-election this week following the resignation of Liberal National MP John McVeigh for family reasons.

Groom is located in the state of Queensland, and is centred around the city of Toowoomba. At the last federal election, the Liberal National Party, Queensland’s dominant conservative party, won this seat by over 70% of the two-party-preferred vote, and since the seat’s creation in 1984, it has been held by conservative political parties.

Some political analysts considered this a foregone conclusion, with analyst Kevin Bonham having declared it on his blog as “Australia’s most boring by-election”, however Bonham noted the size of the swing may have been indicative of the dominant centre left Labor Party’s general performance in Queensland. There was a 4.2% swing against the Labor Party in the state of Queensland at the previous federal election.

Wikinews spoke to one of the four candidates running in the by-election, Sandra Jephcott, who is running for the Sustainable Australia party. Sustainable Australia describes itself as a “independent community movement from the political centre”. According to the party’s website, Jephcott is a veterinarian and farmer, who has completed a veterinary degree from the University of Queensland, as well as a Master of Business Affairs at Bond University and a Master of Science at James Cook University. With Wikinews, Jephcott discussed climate change, COVID-19, water security, and foreign ownership.

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Law center helps defend open source

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Eben Moglen, Columbia University Law Professor, will head the newSoftware Freedom Law Center (SFLC). An initial 4 million dollars has been provided by Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) to fund the project.

The law center will provide free legal service for open source projects and developers. In 2004 OSDL established a separate $10 million Linux Legal Defense Fund providing legal support for Linus Torvalds, Linux kernel creator and end user companies subjected to Linux-related litigation by the SCO Group. The new law center will not be affiliated with the OSDL.

“This is about taking care of the goose that laid the golden egg and not letting wolves come in the middle of the night and steal it away,” Moglen said during a press conference. “This is a legal firm not involved so much in litigating and defending as it will be for counseling and advising and nurturing non-profits and to prevent millions of dollars in litigation.”

Moglen will serve as chairman and director-counsel of the non-profit organization. Also on board as directors are: Lawrence Lessig, law professor at Stanford Law School; Daniel Weitzner, director of the World Wide Web Consortium‘s technology and society activities; and Diane Peters, general counsel at the OSDL. Daniel Ravicher, executive director of the Public Patent Foundation, will help manage as legal director.

Moglen, one of the world.s leading experts on copyright law as applied to software, will run the new Law Center from its headquarters in New York City. The Law Center will initially have two full-time intellectual property attorneys on staff and expects to expand to four attorneys later this year. Initial clients for the Law Center include the Free Software Foundation and the Samba Project.

Other services provided by the SFLC include: asset stewardship, to avoid intellectual property claim conflict; license review and compatibility analysis; legal consulting and lawyer training.

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NCAA Basketball: Florida, Georgetown join UCLA, OSU in Final Four

Sunday, March 25, 2007

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Submitted by: Monte Tokarski

Colocation is essentially utilized to relocate the fastest web speed to the people. This is also called server colocation. Their particular professionals possess their own host equipments that they employ for the internet connections of their customers to the main server, that these experts own before beginning this business. It is the obligation of the specialists to give the securest data service available, in 24 hours a day. The expert professionals typically own that place which can be nearby the popular places to obtain the quickest world wide web velocity available. Simply because simply by housing nearby the commercial areas, they could very easily offer the quickest web speed by means of high-speed network.

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One of the primary responsibilities of colocation server specialists would be to provide the fast speed web connection Round the clock, whether or not the server is struggling with some large load due to a lot more number of clients. That’s the reason all these experts offer the best hosting server connection obtainable using different varieties of high quality resources obtainable. Basically the equipment owner s heavily increases the utilization ability of the internet so that more number of individuals can easily avail the fastest internet advantages without dealing with any problem of the speed decreasing of the internet.

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About the Author: Utropicmedia was formed over a decade ago to channel innovation and create a leader in managed services. Our target market is businesses looking for premier IT performance and reliability to support their growth. Visit

utropicmedia.net/server-colocation

now!

Source:

isnare.com

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Chicago requires blind students to take driver’s education

Monday, March 13, 2006

Mayra Ramirez, a 16 year old Chicago, USA student is blind. In order to graduate, she and dozens of other visually impaired students in Chicago schools are required to pass a written rules-of-the-road exam. “In other classes, you don’t really feel different because you can do the work other people do,” Ramirez said. “But in driver’s ed, it does give us the feeling we’re different. In a way, it brought me down, because it reminds me of something I can’t do.”

Michael Vaughn, a spokesman for Chicago schools said, “I can’t explain why up to this point no one has raised the issue and suggested a better way for visually impaired students to opt out of driver’s ed.”

Blind students are typically told that they must take the class to graduate; although, by law, any parent can request a change in a disabled student’s education plan. This law is rarely, if ever, disclosed to the students, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Category:Cannabis

This is the category for cannabis, a drug with recreational and medicinal uses.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 16 February 2018: United States: Berkeley, California declares itself a sanctuary city for recreational cannabis
  • 16 April 2017: Canada to legalise marijuana to ‘make it more difficult for kids to access’
  • 20 January 2017: Germany legalises medical use of cannabis
  • 12 January 2017: Artist who changed Hollywood sign to ‘Hollyweed’ surrenders to authorities
  • 3 January 2017: Hollywood sign modified to read ‘Hollyweed’
  • 31 December 2016: Helsinki court jails anti-drug chief Jari Aarnio for drug smuggling
  • 4 May 2014: First arrests made in Singapore for possession of New Psychoactive Substances
  • 22 April 2014: Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green
  • 2 December 2013: Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England
  • 5 June 2013: Scottish court jails Joseph Kearins for culpable homicide of Jordan McGuire
?Category:Cannabis

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write.



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Pages in category “Cannabis”

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May

11

How Do You Clean Your Blinds?

What kind of window treatments do you use in your home? If you are a person who loves curtains and drapes, then keeping them clean is pretty simple. You can either wash the curtains yourself, or take the drapes to the cleaners. Do you prefer blinds instead of curtains? Are you in need of some tips that will help you get your blinds cleaned and looking like new? Relax; this guide will walk you step by step through several processes that you can use to clean your vinyl or plastic shades and blinds.Before you do anything, dust off your window coverings. This will remove any excess dirt and dust bunnies. You can use a feather duster, a vacuum cleaner or a household cleaning spray.If you have some really gross and disgusting looking mini blinds, you will need to remove them from the window and hang them up outside on a clothesline or on a fence. You want to make sure that you are putting them somewhere secure to avoid them from becoming dirtier. In order to effectively clean your shades and window treatments properly you will need some rubber gloves, a water hose and a water and ammonia mixture. This works really great for removing grease and stains.Another way to remove grease, stains and germs is to put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves. Take a cloth or old towel and dip your hand into the alcohol or rub the shades until they are clean, or you can take a plastic dish scrub for more stubborn dirt and dip it into the rubbing alcohol and then proceed to cleaning.If you are located where the weather is a bit too cold to go outside to clean, you can always clean them inside of your home. Remove your blinds from the window and place them in a tub full of warm water and add some dish detergent. Let them soak for approximately an hour or so and then proceed to wash and rinse. Hang them over the bathtub so they can dry completely before you put them back on your windows.If you are looking for a greener solution, then you can actually use some borax or baking soda in place of the harsher cleaning solutions. If you are looking for a way to add some extra shine and are not sure what you can use, a little car wax goes a long way.Remember to only do your cleaning in a well-ventilated area if you are using chemicals. Try to minimize any splashing to prevent damaging any carpet or other surface areas.To keep your window coverings clean, dust your window coverings everyday and you may want to clean them every few months to prevent dirt and grease from building up. This will also keep your windows looking nice and help with the atmosphere of the home.

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May

10

Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans graduate students

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Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans graduate students
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See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list.Tuesday, September 13, 2005

NAICU has created a list of colleges and universities accepting and/or offering assistance to displace faculty members. [1]Wednesday, September 7, 2005

This list is taken from Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students, and is intended to make searching easier for faculty, graduate, and professional students.

In addition to the list below, the Association of American Law Schools has compiled a list of law schools offering assistance to displaced students. [2] As conditions vary by college, interested parties should contact the Office of Admissions at the school in question for specific requirements and up-to-date details.

The Association of American Medical Colleges is coordinating alternatives for medical students and residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. [3]

ResCross.net is acting as a central interactive hub for establishing research support in times of emergency. With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible. [4]

With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible.

Physics undergraduates, grad students, faculty and high school teachers can be matched up with housing and jobs at universities, schools and industry. [5] From the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Society of Physics Students, the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

If you are seeking or providing assistance, please use this site to find information on research support, available lab space/supplies, resources, guidelines and most importantly to communicate with fellow researchers.

The following is a partial list, sorted by location.

Alabama |Alaska |Arizona |Arkansas |California |Colorado |Connecticut |Delaware |District of Columbia |Florida |Georgia |Hawaii |Idaho |Illinois |Indiana |Iowa |Kansas |Kentucky |Louisiana |Maine |Maryland |Massachusetts |Michigan |Minnesota |Mississippi |Missouri |Montana |Nebraska |Nevada |New Hampshire |New Jersey |New Mexico |New York |North Carolina |North Dakota |Ohio |Oklahoma |Oregon |Pennsylvania |Rhode Island |South Carolina |South Dakota |Tennessee |Texas |Utah |Vermont |Virginia |Washington |West Virginia |Wisconsin |Wyoming |Canada

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May

10

IMF and EU approve aid for Georgia

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IMF and EU approve aid for Georgia
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The International Monetary Fund and the European Union approved aid packages to help Georgia recover from its conflict with Russia, which occurred in early August. The IMF approved a US$750 million loan which will allow Georgia to rebuild its currency reserves. The European Union also approved an aid package of 500 million in aid by 2010, which is expected to help internally displaced people (IDPs) and economic recovery in the form of new infrastructure. Only €100 million of the EU aid will be given to Georgia this year.

These loans are aimed to restore confidence in Georgia’s economy and send a signal to international investors that Georgia’s economy is sound. According to the IMF, international investors have been “critical to Georgia’s economic growth in recent years.”

Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman of the IMF executive committee, said the loan will “make significant resources available to replenish international reserves and bolster investor confidence, with the aim of sustaining private capital inflows that have been critical to Georgia’s economic growth in recent years.”

Georgia has requested $2 billion in international aid to help it recover from the conflict. So far, the United States has pledged $1 billion in aid. Further assistance and loans to Georgia are expected from other organizations. Kato noted that “…Georgia is expected to receive financial assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors and creditors in support of the reconstruction effort.” It is expected that an international donors’ conference will take place next month to solicit more aid for the country.

Georgia’s government expects that economic growth will be more than cut in half as a result of the conflict. Last year, Georgia’s GDP increased 12.4% and it is predicted by the IMF that growth will be less than 4 percent in the coming year.

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