The FCC has Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules and policies for radio and TV broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), such as cable TV and satellite TV operators. The rules prohibit discrimination in hiring on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or gender by broadcasters and MVPDs. The rules specifically for MVPDs also prohibit discrimination in hiring on the basis of age. The EEO rules require broadcasters employing five or more full-time employees, and MVPDs employing six or more full-time employees, to maintain an EEO recruitment program. The recruitment rules include requirements to provide notice of job vacancies and to undertake additional outreach measures to all qualified job candidates, such as holding job fairs and establishing scholarship programs.
FCC rule Requirements
The FCC’s EEO rules require broadcasters and MVPDs subject to the recruitment requirements to:
- widely distribute information concerning each full-time (30 hours or more) job vacancy, except for vacancies that need to be filled in demanding or special circumstances;
- provide notice of each full-time job vacancy to recruitment organizations that request notice; and
- complete two (for broadcast employment units with five to 10 full-time employees that are located in smaller markets) or four (for employment units with more than 10 full-time employees located in larger markets) longer-term recruitment initiatives within a two-year period. MVPDs must complete one (for units with 6 to 10 full-time employees in smaller markets) or two (for units with more than 10 full-time employees in larger markets) initiatives within a one-year period. These initiatives can include job fairs, scholarship and internship programs and other community events designed to inform the public about employment opportunities in broadcasting.
The EEO rules include record-keeping and reporting requirements for broadcasters and MVPDs. The requirements are more limited for entities in smaller markets.
The FCC reviews broadcasters’ compliance with EEO rules at the time of a broadcaster’s license renewal, at mid-term during the license period for television stations with five or more full-time employees and for radio stations with 11 or more full-time employees, and through random audits. The FCC reviews MVPDs’ compliance every year through reviews of FCC Forms 396-C filed by units, and through random audits.
You can file comments with the FCC about the EEO compliance of broadcasters and MVPDs at any time.
Helpful Tips – Form 396
Filing a complaint
You have multiple options for filing a complaint with the FCC:
- File a complaint online
- By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322); ASL: 1-844-432-2275
- By mail (please include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible):
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554
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