Broadcasters are not the only ones with FCC-regulated EEO obligations. Cable system operators and other MVPDs have similar FCC EEO obligations, requiring wide dissemination of information about job openings and the maintenance of public file information. In a decision released today, the FCC proposed a $11,000 fine to an MVPD for failing to widely disseminate information about all of its job openings, for failing to keep a public file with the required information about its recruitment efforts, and for not self-assessing its program in a manner in which these issues were discovered and corrected.
This MVPD had only 3 job openings in the period covered by the FCC audit that led to the proposed fine. For two openings, the company simply relied on its website to advertise for new employees. For the third, it used Craig’s List. The FCC, reiterating the position that it has taken with broadcasters (see our article here), said that online recruiting and recruiting through the station’s own internal sources are not enough. Recruiting efforts need to include other sources designed to reach all of the significant groups in the system’s area. When working with our broadcast and MVPD clients to design an effective EEO plan, we suggest using efforts like notices to community groups, outreach to educational institutions, the use of employment agencies, and publication in a widely read local newspaper (a relic, perhaps, of 2003 when these rules were first adopted) to achieve the required broad outreach to community groups expected by the FCC. This case serves as yet another reminder of the seriousness with which the FCC takes its EEO rules. See our article here for more information about the FCC’s EEO obligations.