|Tom Embrescia, Chairman & CEO|
The .jobs domain system was approved by ICANN on April 8, 2005. Registration in the domain system is exclusively intended for companies and organizations seeking to develop, and enhance their job related sites. It acts as a supplement to a company's traditional site, as a corporation can register their company name followed by the suffix .jobs; This URL allows job seekers using the internet to go to the job page and connect with the human resources department of a given company faster and easier.
Every company applying for a .jobs domain is screened to ensure that they are legitimate and they are doing business under the name they represent. Registration for a .jobs domain costs approximately $125 annually, plus $35 for the initial set up fee through a network of accredited registrars.
The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the sponsoring organization for .jobs. The society is the world’s largest organization dedicated to human resource management, which oversees the collective interests for its 250,000+members from more than 150 countries. It has 575 affiliated chapters in the US and subsidiary offices in China and India.
The technical registry operations for the .jobs TLD is provided by Verisign Naming and Directory Services, a division of Verisign which is proven as an industry leader and world class provider of registry operations and maintenance. It also provides resolution, billing and customer support to .jobs.
Phase Allocation Program
- RFP (Request for Proposal)to invite interested parties to propose specific plans for registration, use ad promotion of domains that are not their company names.
- By auction rounds that offer domains not allocated through the RFP process.
- On a first-come basis, per served real-time release of any domains not registered through the RFP or auction process.
Prior to the submission of the proposal to ICANN, the Phase Allocation Program was approved by a super majority vote from the PDP Council, which was created and supervised by the SHRM to review proposed amendments to the .jobs policies, and business rules on June 3, 2010. The program was also approved by Employ Media and SHRM.
The ICANN Board evaluated Employ Media's Phase Allocation Program proposal and determined there is no significant threat to the security and stability of the internet DNS and there are no competition issues. On June 15, 2010, ICANN opened a public comment regrading the proposed amendment to the Appendix S of the .JOBS Registry Agreement.
Following ICANN's approval of the Phase Allocation Program, Employ Media issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on August 11, 2010 regarding its plan to allow the registration of industry, occupation, geographic and dictionary names within the .jobs domain space. The RFP process was open from August 26 until September 24, 2010.
Petition from .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition
In August 20, 2010, the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition sent a letter to the ICANN Board to reconsider its decision regarding the approval of the Phase Allocation Program. According to the coalition, the program is a violation of Employ Media's .jobs charter and the amendment issued by its PDP Council did not authorize the registry operator to change the charter. The coalition emphasized that any changes in the charter should be submitted to the ICANN Board for consideration and based on broad input from the ICANN community and affected parties. In addition, the coalition also pointed out that their members' businesses were negatively affected by the program; members of the .JOBS Charter Coalition include:
- AHA Solutions (American Hospital Association)
- American Society of Association Executives
- American Staffing Association
- CareerBuilder, LLC
- International Association of Employment Web Sites
- International Association of Employment Web Sites (18 individual members)
- Monster Worldwide, Inc.
- Newspaper Association of America
- Shaker Recruitment Advertising & Communications.
On October 21, 2010, the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition reiterated its complaint to the ICANN Board that Employ Media violated its charter by disregarding the rights of third parties. To prove its allegation, the coalition cited that Employ Media allowed the registration of nativeamerican.jobs, which is closely similar to the nativeamericanjobs.com owned by the Assiniboine Sioux tribe and has been registered since 2000. The coalition also added that the nativeamerican.jobs site is promoting and offering job board services instead of conducting human resource management services. The coalition also emphasized that Employ Media is using the Phase Allocation Program to change the .jobs TLD to a generic employment services domain.
On November 4, 2010, the coalition once again sent a letter to the ICANN Board with a detailed explanation supporting its allegation that Employ Media violated its charter and reiterated its strong objection to the registry's plan to introduce thousands of .jobs domain names. On Dec 17, the coalition filed a formal notice with ICANN's compliance department regarding the universe.jobs website that was launched by the Direct Employers Association, a partner of Employ Media. They also encouraged ICANN to stop the operations of the universe.jobs website.  
Employ Media's Response to Critics
Employ Media denied the assumptions of its critics particularly the .JOBS Charter Coalition that it will violate its .jobs charter. According to the .jobs registry operator, the allegations of the coalition has no basis and mere speculations use to delay its Phased Allocation Program.
The registry operator stated that it has no intention to allow any person or entity to register domain names under the .jobs sTLD that does not meet the registration requirements set forth by its charter.
ICANN's Response to .JOBS Charter Coalition Petition
ICANN's Board Governance Committee (BGC) evaluated the petition submitted by the .JOBS Charter Coalition regarding the Phased Allocation Program. A set of questions was sent to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) in connection with the reconsideration request filed by the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition.
On October 12, 2010, the BGC determined that the allegations of the coalition has no merit and cited the following reasons:
- The concern of the coalition regarding the potential violation of the .jobs charter regarding the implementation of the Phase Allocation Program is not proper ground for the ICANN Board to reconsider its decision.
- The ICANN Board did not fail to consider material information available at the time of action.
In addition, the BGC recommended the ICANN Board to closely monitor Employ Media's compliance with the charter, to direct the ICANN CEO to create a briefing paper for the GNSO to consider the issue and evaluate if a policy development process (PDP) is necessary.
During the ICANN meeting in Colombia on December 9, 2010, the ICANN Board's BGC refused to change its decision in August regarding the approval of the.jobs Phased Allocation Program despite the persistent pressure from the .JOBS Charter Coalition. However, the BGC recommended that "the Board direct the CEO, and General Counsel and Secretary, to ensure that ICANN’s Contractual Compliance Department closely monitor Employ Media’s compliance with its Charter. ICANN's decision allowed Employ Media to continue its RFP process, to auction and allocate premium domain names to its partners but not to expand beyond the charter of the .jobs TLD.
Launching of universe.Jobs
In January 2011, Employ Media, in partnership with the Direct Employers Association, officially launched the .JOBS Universe, an interactive, community-driven network of 40,000 thousand job related sites owned by more than 500 leading U.S. employers to enable job seekers to easily find job opportunities. Examples of websites available in the .jobs universe include boston.jobs, insurance.jobs, military.jobs, technology.jobs and many other geographical and industrial job sites. One month after the launch of the .JOBS Universe, Employ Media reported that more than half-million Americans visited the site.
The jobs board was launched in 2009, , prior to the official launching of the universe.jobs website. According to Tom Embrescia, "building sites on the “reserved” occupational and geographic addresses is a marketing test" to increase consumer awareness that the websites exists. Chad Sowash, VP of business development for the Direct Employers Association, expected that there would be complaints against the universe.jobs website. According to Bob Etheridge, co-founder of JobCircle and former VP of Getthe.job, there were suspicions that Employ Media was also trying to enter the content-creation business.
As expected, different organizations complained about the universe.jobs website. Steve Rothberg, founder and president of CollegeRecruiter, said “This new domain was promoted as only being available to employers to promote their own jobs. Clearly that hasn’t been the case.” The Newspaper Association of America, the American Society of Association Executives, and the American Staffing Association also complained.
ICANN Issues Notice of Breach to Employ Media
On February 27, 2011, ICANN issued a notice of breach on the .jobs registry agreement to Employ Media and SHRM after receiving complaints about the universe.jobs website from different organizations, particularly from the .JOBS Charter Coalition Compliance. According to ICANN, the registry operator and its sponsor failed to establish policies in conformity with the defined purpose and intent of the .JOBS registry. The internet governing body cited that Employ Media violated its charter when it allowed the Direct Employers Association to register 40 thousands domain names and partnered with the organization in operating the universe.jobs website, which appeared to be a jobs board competing with other websites offering the same service. ICANN directed the registry operator and its sponsor to resolve the issues or else it will terminate the .jobs registry agreement.
Employ Media Response to ICANN Notice of Breach
In response to ICANN's Notice of Breach against Employ Media, the registry operator expressed its disappointment and disagreement with ICANN. The company also invoked the cooperative engagement provision of its registry agreement and assigned its vice president and general counsel Brian Johnson as representative. The company defended its position regarding the universe.jobs by reasoning out that it followed the required procedures in introducing new registry services through the Phase Allocation Program, which was approved by ICANN. Moreover, Employ Media calimed that ICANN changed its position to give way to the incessant pleadings of the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition. In April, 2011, the company agreed to amend its charter and to stop registering .jobs domain names that are non-company names until May 6.</ref>Registry avoids .jobs shut-down</ref> However, on Dec
.JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition Appeal to SHRM and ICANN
In March, 2011, following ICANN's notice of breach to Employ Media and SHRM, the .JOBS Charter Coalition appealed to SHRM to show its independence, exercise its objectives and oversight responsibilities as sponsor of the .jobs TLD to ensure the best interest of the human resource management community by compelling its registry operator to follow its charter and to stop it and its partner, the Direct Employers Association, from exploiting millions of .jobs domain names.
Employ Media Arbitration Proceedings vs. ICANN
In May 2011, Employ Media filed an arbitration proceeding with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration to resolve the notice of breach to the .jobs registry agreement issued by ICANN after its cooperative agreement proceedings with ICANN collapsed. According to Thomas Embrescia, the arbitration was necessary to remove the “unwarranted and unprecedented threat of contract termination” that caused uncertainties for the .jobs TLD and to his business.
The cooperative agreement between the two organizations failed after Employ Media objected to ICANN’s publication of their cooperative agreement correspondences in connection with the notice of breach and described it as a “bad faith action” on the part of the internet governing body. ICANN’s legal counsel Eric Enson responded that the internet governing body was just carrying out its accountability and transparency responsibilities to the internet community when it posted the details of their cooperative negotiations. Furthermore, Enson said Employ Media “has no intention to work with ICANN cooperatively to resolve the problem” and its lawyer Arif Ali of “legal posturing,” which was “seemingly geared solely towards use in future litigation.”
In July 2011, ICANN responded to Employ Media’s request for arbitration. The internet governing body remained firm and strongly defended its decision that the notice of breach to the .jobs registry agreement issued to Employ Media was appropriate and requested the arbitration court to dismiss the case and to deny the registry operator’s request for relief.
In May 2012, ICANN and the ICC published a timetable for Employ Media's request for arbitration. In the timetable, it was revealed that the earliest Employ Media can find out whether or not ICANN has the right to shut down .jobs is in February 2013, with face-to-face hearings scheduled between January 28 and February 8, 2013.
.JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition Attacks ICANN
Issue on Arbitration
In December, 2011, the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition criticized ICANN because the arbitration case went idle. According to the coalition, ICANN’s failure to inform the ICANN community regarding the status of the arbitration regarding Employ Media’s universe.jobs website was a “regrettable standard practice” and accused ICANN of being complicit in the “consensual delay” of the contract dispute arbitration.
As of March 12, 2012, ICANN and Employ Media are still waiting for the timetable of the arbitrations proceedings from the ICC International Court of Arbitration.
Issue of new gTLD Program
One day before the opening of the new gTLD expansion program, John Bell chairman of the coalition, wrote to ICANN Chairman Steve Crocker to request that the ICANN Board exclude Employ Media in the application for new TLDs. Bell claimed that the .jobs TLD registry operator is not qualified due to its "history of abuse." In addition, he also criticized ICANN's mismanagement of the .jobs TLD dispute and expressed fears that the internet governing body might not be able to fulfill its promise to the internet community to disqualify the applications of rogue TLD operators. Furthermore, he said that ICANN can only regain a measure of regulatory authority by publicly blocking Employ Media and Direct Employers Association from participating in the new gTLD program.
- ICANN Registry Request Service, Employ Media Phase Allocation Program Proposal
- NOTICE OF DECISION ON EMPLOY MEDIA PROPOSED AMENDMENT CONCERNING .JOBS TLD
- Public Comment: Phased Allocation Program in .JOBS
- Approval of RSEP Request for Phased Allocation Program in .JOBS
- PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF BOARD ACTION
- The JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition Letter to ICANN Regarding nativeamerican.jobs
- Native American domain gives .jobs critics ammo
- Reconsideration 10-2; .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition
- .jobs opponents get to the point
- Coalition complains to ICANN about Universe.jobs
- Employ Media answers .jobs critics
- Employ Media Response to BGC Questions
- Questions for Society of Human Resources Management Regarding Reconsideration Request 10-2
- 2010-12-10 Response to Reconsideration Request 10-2
- Recommendation Of The Board Governance Committee, Reconsideration Request 10-2, 9 December 2010
- Did .jobs win or lose in Cartagena?
- A Massive Network of Employment Web Sites Launched by Direct Employers Association This Week
- Over Half a Million Americans Have Visited .Jobs Universe Within Weeks of its Launch
- “Tens of Thousands” of New Dot-Jobs Boards Coming
- A “Universe” Of .Jobs Job Boards Is Set To Launch
- Fix Flawed Dot-jobs Process, Weddle Says
- ICANN threatens to shut down .jobs
- Employ Media Responce to ICANN'S Notice of Breach
- .Jobs Manager Seeks Arbitration by International Court
- War of Words Over Jobs Breach Claims
- ICANN’s Response to Employ Media’s Request for Arbitration
- Battle over .jobs to drag on into 2013. Published 2012 May 22. Retrieved 2012 November 13.
- .Jobs Coalition Says Arbitration Case Is Dormant
- Arbitration: Employ Media vs. ICANN
- The case study that could kill ICANN