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FCC Waives an EEO Requirement for Rehires

Broadcasters slammed by coronavirus need not do “broad outreach” when rehiring

The FCC has announced a partial waiver of an EEO rule to help facilitate the rehiring of people who lost jobs in the coronavirus crisis.

Its Media Bureau waived the “broad outreach” requirements of Equal Employment Opportunity recruitment rules in certain circumstances. The rules ordinarily require broadcast stations employing five or more full-time employees to engage in broad recruitment outreach for all full-time job vacancies.

[Read: FCC Eliminates Its Own Engineering Division]

“The Bureau finds good cause to waive this requirement to allow affected broadcast licensees … to return operations to full strength once circumstances permit the re-hiring of released employees,” it announced.

“Specifically, broadcast licensees and MVPDs may rehire full-time employees who were laid off due to circumstances related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic without first conducting broad recruitment outreach, if they rehire such employees within nine months after the date they were laid off.”

It emphasized that this partial waiver pertains only to employees who were released due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It cited the “challenging economic conditions directly resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including significant layoffs and workforce reductions in the media industry.”

The FCC believes this waiver “will not have a material adverse impact on the commission’s goals of ensuring equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination.”