DirecTV drops the ball for costly EEO error


For two years, satellite MVPD DirecTV “relied solely on the Internet or non-public sources, such as employee referrals or walk-ins.” This constitutes inadequate recruitment techniques when it comes to meeting the FCC’s EEO requirements. The periods in question were 3/26/03-9/11/03 and 9/12/03-9/11/04.

This error was actually discovered by DirecTV itself, and the company voluntarily reported the failure to the FCC 6/6/05, and implemented corrective measures. This was only to discover that an affiliate in Puerto Rico had EEO reporting and recruiting omissions at various times between 2003 and 2007. Again it tattled on itself to the FCC.

The situation has been dealt with via the consent decree route rather than the issuance of a Notice of Apparent Liability and and eventual Forfeiture Order. DirecTV will admit no guilt, will take further corrective measures and will make a $150K contribution to the US Treasury.

RBR/TVBR observation: While the government can seemingly do very little about who actually gets hired, it has something to say about the hiring process, so it is a good idea to be well aware of these requirements when hunting for employees. Also, this story underscores the Commission’s love of candor – it is the single best way to catch a break when working through a problem such as this.