On February 26, 2018, the Media Bureau sent the first of its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) audit letters for 2018 to randomly selected radio and television stations. Each year, the Bureau audits the EEO programs of approximately 5% of radio and 5% of TV stations. A public notice was released that announces the audit, provides a list of stations, and includes a copy of the audit letter. Responses are due to be uploaded to stations’ online public files by April 12, 2018.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat
On April 21, 2017, the Media Bureau issued a Declaratory Ruling updating its EEO policy on recruiting widely for full-time openings to permit broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors to use the Internet as a sole recruitment source when recruiting for vacancies, as long as the recruitment is still sufficiently broad to meet EEO recruitment requirements. The previous policy had held that sole reliance on online recruitment sources did not satisfy the requirement under the Commission’s EEO rules that job postings must be widely disseminated. The Media Bureau found in the Declaratory Ruling that Internet usage now has become sufficiently widespread to meet the “wide dissemination” requirement.
Declaratory Ruling: Word | Acrobat
On August 26, 2008, the FCC proposed revisions to the annual employment reports for multi-channel video programming providers (Form 395-A) and broadcast stations (Form 395-B) in order to conform them to the annual employment report (Form EEO-1) used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Office of Management and Budget approved the revised Forms 395-A and 395-B on October 8, 2008. The approvals were published in the Federal Register at 73 Fed. Reg. 62991 (October 22, 2008). OMB approved the forms so they would not expire on their expiration date on October 31, 2008. However, the forms remain suspended pending resolution of issues concerning public access to the data contained in the forms, and they do not need to be filed until further notice. See Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Review of the Commission's Broadcast and Cable Equal Employment Opportunity Rules and Policies, 19 FCC Rcd 9973 (2004).
FCC Form 397, the Broadcast Mid-Term Report, is now posted on the www.fcc.gov web page under "forms." It is also posted in the Commission's electronic filing system, CDBS. It is not required to be filed by anyone until June 1, 2007. The only companies required to file the form are radio employment units with 11 or more full-time employees and television employment units with five or more full-time employees. Licensees should file Form 397 four years after they last filed for renewal. Thus, the first group required to file the form, by June 1, 2007, is the DC-Maryland-Virginia-West Virginia radio renewal group.
On October 7, 2004, the Commission sent random EEO audit letters to the stations on the attached list. With this mailing, coupled with our mailing of May 28, 2004, we have now sent random audit letters to 5% of radio and television stations and multi-channel video programming distributors for 2004. In 2005, we will resume sending random audit letters in several mailings during the year until we reach a random sample of 5% of each industry.
Audit Letter: Acrobat
The annual employment reports, FCC Form 395-B for broadcast and FCC Form 395-A for MVPDs, were reinstated in the Third Report and Order and Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking of June 4, 2004 (see below). No one needs to file these forms, however, until a final order is released concerning the confidentiality of the forms.
FCC Form 396-C is due September 30, 2004, for MVPDs with six or more full-time employees. The procedure for whether to file an SIS is the same as last year. See Public Notice of September 23, 2003 (scroll below). If your unit is required to file an SIS this year, the relevant questions to be answered would be to give job descriptions for sales workers and to answer questions 2, 4, and 6. However, note that there is NO grace period this year.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat
On June 18, 2004, 45 State Associations of Broadcasters filed a petition for issuance of a writ of mandamus with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The petition asked the Court to direct the FCC to withdraw all EEO audit letters or extend the deadline for filing of station responses. On June 30, 2004, the Court denied the petition.
USCA Order: Acrobat
The Commission has suspended the EEO rules and forms except for the prohibitions against discrimination. See Equal Employment Opportunity Outreach Program Requirements, 16 FCC Rcd 2872 (2001). This was in response to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit finding the broadcast EEO Rule outreach requirements to be unconstitutional. See MD/DC/DE Broadcasters Association, et al., v. FCC, Case No. 1094, January 16, 2001. The Commission appealed this ruling. In a decision released June 19, 2001, the Court denied the appeal. Chairman Powell stated in a speech to the Federal Communications Bar Association on June 21, 2001, that he is disappointed in the denial of the Commission's appeal and intends to ask the Commissioners to consider new EEO rules. Decisions on any further actions by the Commission are pending.
EEO Filing Search
- To download comments and other documents electronically in MM Docket No. 98-204 and MM Docket No. 96-16, see ECFS. You may view the comments by entering the docket number in the proceeding field.
- To search the database for information about EEO filings by broadcast stations, use the FCC's Consolidated Database System for EEO Filings.
Anyone with knowledge of any violation of the FCC's EEO rules committed by a licensee of a broadcast station or an MVPD unit may notify the FCC EEO staff of the alleged violation at any time. Complainants should keep in mind, however, that anyone filing such a complaint should include as much specific information and supporting evidence as possible in order for the EEO staff to investigate properly. Also, because of limits imposed on the Commission by statutes of limitations on violations, it is best to file such a complaint as soon as possible after a violation occurs. Anyone interested in filing a charge alleging that a broadcaster or MVPD has discriminated unlawfully may file with the EEO staff but, in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the FCC and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the EEOC is the lead federal agency on determining discrimination. If a charge is filed with the FCC, we will act as a receiving agency but will forward the charge to the EEOC for evaluation. In accordance with the MOU, the FCC will take cognizance of any final finding of discrimination determined by the EEOC or other competent body such as a state agency or court. The deadline for filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC is 180 days from the date of the discrimination. Any questions about how this deadline is determined or if there are any exceptions should contact the EEOC.
To receive more information about complaint procedures or the cable EEO provisions in general, please contact the EEO Branch at (202) 418-1450.
For more information pertaining to the Policy Division, please call: (202) 418-1450.