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FCC RELAXES EEO REQUIREMENTS ON RECRUITMENT

REGULATORY UPDATE:   FCC RELAXES EEO RECRUITMENT REQUIREMENTS TO PERMIT SOLE RELIANCE UPON ONLINE RECRUITMENT SOURCES

 

On April 21, 2017, the Commission relaxed the recruitment obligations of its EEO rule that require broadcasters to engage in “wide dissemination” of information concerning full-time job vacancies.

 

The FCC determined that Internet usage has become sufficiently widespread to permit broadcasters to use the Internet as a sole recruitment source to meet the “wide dissemination” requirement of the rule.

 

The declaratory ruling in which the Commission announced the change is effective immediately.

 

The Commission said that a broadcaster “may choose to rely on a single online job posting if the posting appears on a website that is so widely used that it can reasonably be expected to widely disseminate information about the job vacancy.”

 

The Commission also encouraged broadcasters to take into account three additional factors in relying exclusively on the Internet for job vacancy postings, to assure compliance with the “wide dissemination” requirement:  (1) the online job posting must be easy to find; (2) job openings should be posted online for an adequate period of time with auditable interview records maintained; and (3) broadcasters should “continue to cultivate job referral relationships with resources that are likely to include diverse candidates.” These were proposed in comments filed by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), and were endorsed by the Commission.

 

The underlying recruitment obligation of the EEO rule is unchanged, requiring each licensee subject to the rule to “use recruitment sources for each [full-time] vacancy sufficient in its reasonable, good faith judgment to widely disseminate information concerning the vacancy.”

 

The ruling does not alter broadcasters’ obligations to notify recruitment sources of vacancies that have requested such notification, nor does it affect broadcasters’ requirements to engage in broad recruitment outreach initiatives not related to a specific vacancy.

 

Stations with fewer than five full-time employees are exempt from the recruitment and outreach requirements.