.Jobs Manager Accused of Bad-faith Negotiating

May 12, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

As the issues surrounding the management of .jobs Internet addresses move to arbitration, the positions taken by the leading parties are not only solidifying, but becoming rancorous.

In a public letter, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers accuses .jobs manager Employ Media of “bad faith” during negotiations to resolve matters.

It appears, says the letter from ICANN’s attorney Eric Enson, “that Employ Media has no intention of working cooperatively with ICANN to resolve this dispute.”

The dispute stems from Employ Media’s awarding of tens of thousands of Internet addresses to the DirectEmployers Association. The so-called “Dot Jobs Universe” is a vast network of job boards using geographic, occupational, and geo-occupational names with the .jobs suffix to facilitate job seeker searches.

On February 27th, ICANN sent Employ Media a notice of breach of contract, which, in strong language, alleged the Dot Jobs Universe violated Employ Media’s charter. The letter further accused the .jobs manager, and its partner, the Society for Human Resource Management, with creating rules so “loose” they “appear to exclusively serve the financial interests of Employ Media and SHRM.”

Employ Media availed itself of the “cooperative engagement” provision of the contract, which is a process of negotiation intended to amicably reach a resolution without legal action. After two extensions to the initial 30-day period, Employ Media filed a notice to seek arbitration.

Filing the arbitration request before the end of the second extension, and before complying with certain terms to which it had previously agreed, “is disappointing and a clear sign of bad faith” by Employ Media, attorney Enson wrote.

No response yet to a request for comment from Employ Media. It’s also unknown if a meeting Enson  requested for today is scheduled or took place.

Meanwhile, The .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition today issued a detailed rebuttal to the claims made in Employ Media’s arbitration request. The request, said the Coalition, contans “numerous misrepresentations and omissions.”

“The Coalition believes that Employ Media simply cannot provide any reasonable response that would explain away the indisputable fact that the Charter does not permit the operation of job boards that advertise job openings for multiple employers,” the Coalition says, in the letter signed by chair John Bell.

Among the members of the coalition are the world’s two largest job boards — Monster and CareerBuilder — as well as the job board trade group, the International Association of Employment Web Sites. The Newspaper Association of America, representing most daily newspapers in the U.S., the American Hospital Association, the American Staffing Association, and Shaker Recruitment Advertising and Communications are also among the listed coalition members.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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