FCC Begins Process to Reinstate EEO Form 395-B

Posted on July 30th, 2021 by

On July 23, 2021, the FCC adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to refresh the existing record regarding the statutorily mandated collection of data on the FCC Form 395-B (Annual Employment Report).  The form was originally designed to gather workforce composition data from broadcasters on an annual basis but was suspended in 2001 in the wake of a court decision vacating certain aspects of the FCC’s EEO rules.  Revisions to the form in 2004 were made, but the form has remained suspended due to confidentiality concerns.

The FNPRM seeks input on the legal, logistical and technical issues surrounding the form, but makes no tentative conclusions, as is sometimes the case in rulemaking proceedings.  Changes to the form are contemplated.  Comments are due 30 days after publication of the FNRPM in the Federal Register.  If the FCC concludes that reinstatement of the Form 395-B and filing requirements is necessary, then, barring any legal challenges, we estimate that filings would not be required until late 2022.