EEO Outreach Requirements Waived for COVID-19 Employee Rehires

Posted on May 29th, 2020 by

In last month’s newsletter, we mentioned our firm’s ongoing efforts with the FCC staff seeking some relaxation of the EEO rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are pleased to report that those efforts resulted in the issuance of a May 4, 2020 Media Bureau Order waiving the EEO outreach requirements in certain specific circumstances.

Broadcast stations with five or more full-time employees are normally required to conduct broad outreach for any full-time job vacancy.  Those requirements include the posting/dissemination of job vacancy information, and the reporting of recruitment sources, number of interviewees, and the source that produced ultimate hire. Careful recordkeeping of those efforts is also required. Under the Bureau’s relaxation order, if a station is rehiring an employee that it terminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the normal outreach requirements are waived, provided that the rehire is made within nine (9) months of the employee’s termination.  This enables stations to quickly rehire experienced employees with known skill sets, without first having to conduct outreach.

The FCC still considers the rehire to be filling a job vacancy and, therefore, a station conducting such a rehire should include the job vacancy on its annual EEO public file report, but note that it was exempt from outreach requirements per the COVID-19 waiver.