Thursday, March 22, 2012

More hostility towards job seekers

Looking for a job? You already knew most employers require drug screening, but now they are talking about requiring drug screening to get unemployment benefits. There is a trend in classified ads, saying only those currently employed can apply. Several states are cutting out 5 months of unemployment benefits because the manipulated numbers State average unemployment rate is under 9% & Congress recently decided that would be the *magic number* that would disqualify people for the extended benefits. But wait! There's more!

This article about a person doing a job interview, was asked by the prospective employer to provide them with his Facebook log in & password- is one more abuse job seekers are having to endure. Even though it is actually in violation of Facebook terms of service, to give out that information, some employers are asking for it, and or using a back door approach, asking prospective employees to "friend" the HR department.

In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person’s social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.

“It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys,” said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it “an egregious privacy violation.”
SEATTLE — When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook username and password.
Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn’t see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.
Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn’t want to work for a company that would seek such personal information. But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no.
All these things combined, create a very hostile environment for those job hunting. Will we see a spate of "dummy" faeebook accounts saying "I HEART CORPORATIONS", where a professional persona can be presented , that carefully avoids topics of opinion, religion or politics?

B-9 the "Lost in Space" Robot. 
Warning! Danger Will Robinson!
You are about to lose your freedom & privacy!

Apolitical Androids, with squeaky clean, anemic, perhaps non-human cyber presence.
Once employed, some workers have been required to sign non-disparagement agreements that ban them from talking negatively about an employer on social media.
It does feel pretty robotic. Piss & or hair samples for drug screens & unemployment benefits, enhanced pre job social media scrutiny, and then having official company policies that dictate what you can say publicly on social media sites. This is starting to feel more like a Ray Bradbury sci-fi novel, or that George Orwell's "1984":

 "A world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control.  Big Brother, the deified Party leader who rules with a philosophy that decries individuality and reason as thoughtcrimes."
I don't want to have such a bleak outlook, but all of these elements are emerging in a short timeframe, and it is all targeted at those looking for work. 
The Banksters @ Goldman Sachs are free to trade e mails about how they bilk customers from their investment money they are supposed to be managing, seemingly without scrutiny.

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