FCC Adopts NPRM to Review EEO Rules

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When the FCC initiated its most recent EEO audits, Wilkinson Barker Knauer partner David Oxenford mentioned in a recent Broadcast Law Blog post that the Commission was planning a rulemaking to review the effectiveness of its EEO rules for broadcasting and multi-channel video operators.


The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to review these rules has now been released.

This review, Oxenford explained, was prompted by complaints raised in connection with the abolition of the FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report that the rules were not doing enough to foster minority hiring.

“The NPRM raises few specific issues,” Oxenford says. “It instead asks a series of general questions asking for comments on the effectiveness of the Commission’s current EEO program, and what actions the FCC could take to make it more effective.”

In fact, he says, “The only specific issue identified in the NPRM as a potential problem area is the concern that the outreach for recruits to fill job openings may be done in some instances after the jobs that are being advertised have already been filled.”

The NPRM asks whether that is in fact happening and what can be done to prevent such practices.

Otherwise, Oxenford says, “the request is a general one looking for suggestions on how to make the EEO recruitment process more effective.”

Comments will be due 30 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, with reply comments due 45 days after that publication.

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