The FCC has issued Notices of Apparent Liability against two radio licensees for apparent EEO violations at their respective station clusters. These NALs, issued on the next to last day of the FCC’s business year, are the first to address EEO violations in a year and a half. The common thread in both NALs was the licensee’s failure to properly recruit for new hires, relying primarily on "walk-ins" or referrals in lieu of the "wide dissemination" required for information about job openings. In one case, where the licensee failed to widely disseminate information about 28 job openings, the FCC proposed a fine of $20,000. In the other case, where the station owner was able to document recruitment efforts for some of its openings, the FCC proposed a fine of $8000 for the six jobs where the required recruitment efforts were found lacking.
In the first NAL, the $20,000 proposed forfeiture was based on a finding that the licensee failed to properly recruit for 28 of the 29 full-time vacancies filled over a six year period. Instead, the licensee relied on "walk-ins" and referrals for six vacancies, and used the Internet or on-air ads for 22 vacancies. These methods alone do not constitute sufficient dissemination of job vacancies under FCC rules. In a post last year, we explained that the FCC does not consider Internet advertising alone to be sufficient for recruitment purposes, and questioned whether that policy is appropriate in this day and age.