Last week, a major security threat named “Heartbleed” was in the news. This is related to a bug in the encryption technology used on the Internet for usernames, passwords, and emails.
We want to let you know that account information remains secure and America’s Job Exchange sites were unaffected by this bug.
At America’s Job Exchange, the security of the site is a top priority. The servers our sites run on are hosted in a SSAE-16 certified data center where access to the servers is very restricted. The facility provides redundant power and high-speed connectivity. Additionally, the servers are monitored 24×7 for hardware and system issues, as well as, security intrusions. All of this to provide our seekers and employers access to the data they need, when they need it.
While the America’s Job Exchange sites were not impacted by this bug, it’s a good opportunity to review some good general practices around passwords:
Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts.
Choose a good password that will be hard to crack.
Change your password with some frequency.
If using a shared account, change the password when someone leaves the company.
In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, when women were being paid 59 cents for every dollar paid to men, making it illegal for employers to pay lower wages to women doing substantially the same work as their male counterparts. Following year, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted, making it illegal to discriminate, including in compensation, on the basis of sex, race, color, religion and national origin. In 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Led better Fair Pay Act as a concrete step to bridge the equal pay gap. Obama also increased the OFCCP’s budget by 10% and the Equal Opportunity Commission’s budget by 5% as well as continuing to support The Paycheck Fairness Act, which he cosponsored in the Senate.
But even today, 50 years after the Equal Pay Act became a law, women are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. Lacking congressional support to raise wages to end gender pay disparities, President Obama is imposing his policies on federal contractors. He will sign an executive order Tuesday, barring federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other. The order is similar to language in a Senate bill aimed at closing a pay gap between men and women. Continue reading →
On March 26, 2014, The Association of Employment Professionals (AOEP), held a forum to discuss the impact of the new OFCCP regulations (revising VEVRAA and Section 503), on federal contractors. March 24, 2014 was the D-Day for the regulations to go into effect. These regulations have revised the requirements for employers that receive federal contracts so as to increase employment opportunities for veterans and candidates with disabilities. The frenzy to get things just right in the event of an audit has federal contractors seek out information and guidance on the revisions around VEVRAA and Section 503 from many sources. This event in Waltham was well attended by many employers and federal contractors and there were discussions and lively q&a sessions after each speaker’s presentation.
The OFCCP recently published regulations that significantly impact the affirmative action requirements for qualified individuals with disabilities (IWDs), (Section 503), and protected veterans (VEVRAA). The regulations apply to covered federal contractors and sub-contractors and have become effective today!
What do you need to know today to speed up your compliance efforts?
• Collect and maintain more data relating to hiring and employment of underprivileged groups
• There is 7% utilization goal for candidates with disabilities
• Establish a hiring goal for veterans. The recommendation is to have a goal that equals the percentage of veterans in the civilian workforce now (8%)
• Have contact information of hiring official as well as identify in job listings the employer to be a federal contractor-for example, “VEVRAA Federal Contractor.”
• Have EEO clause and language attached to all job postings
• Increase quality and level of outreach efforts so as to increase the candidate and employee pool for veterans and people with disabilities
• Maintain records of the number of IWDs that apply for jobs vs. those that are hired in order to measure effectiveness of outreach efforts
• Evaluate the effectiveness of your outreach to understand gaps and maintain detailed records of such efforts
• Post jobs in a format approved by the appropriate ESDS
• Maintain records for 3 years
Some changes are due immediately for covered contractors. A significant portion of the new revisions can be “phased in” from now and the next time the contractor’s AAP is scheduled to be updated. For instance, if a contractor has set its AAP year to correspond with the calendar year, then many of the new requirements need not be implemented till January 1, 2015.
Other new requirements need to be implemented as of March 24, 2014 regardless of contractor’s AAP year date. These include required changes to EEO tagline on job postings, listing jobs with State Employment Delivery Systems and so forth.
For updated information visit OFCCP. Guidance in the form of FAQs and downloadable webinar links can be found here.
What needs to be done to comply with the new regulations?
The 2013 final VEVRAA rule, which takes effect March 24, 2014, requires that contractors advise the Employment Service Delivery System (ESDS) in each state where it has establishments that:
(1) It is a federal contractor, and
(2) It desires priority referrals from the state of protected veterans for job openings at all locations within the state.
The regulations also require the contractor to provide the ESDS with the name and location of each hiring location within the state and the contact information for the official responsible for hiring at each location.
Good faith efforts like Affirmative Action efforts need to be expanded to increase the pool of qualified candidates. Outreach has to be external (to reach the wider labor market), and internal (immediate workforce). Proof of outreach must be meticulously maintained. Good faith efforts also encompass training and promotion of the internal workforce. Results of good faith efforts also need to be documented. Continue reading →
Most employers know that hiring veterans is a smart business decision for the multitude of skills and attributes they bring to the table. It is also true that in spite of that knowledge, many recruiters pass over military resumes simply because they do not understand them. Now that you are back from duty and ready for civilian life, take time to create a resume that has high impact. Demilitarize your resume.
1. SKILLS AND TRAINING
Veterans already possess skills and training that transfer easily to the civilian workforce. They also have the proven ability to learn new skills fast. Your discipline, determination, perseverance and the ability to work under pressure are big attributes. Veterans are trained to meet deadlines in a timely fashion in spite of any stress. They understand the importance of sticking with a task till it is completed. Make sure those skills are highlighted to match the job you want. Have a clear goal and match your military skills to that goal. Continue reading →