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FCC rules online-only outreach sufficient for EEO compliance

 - On-air, print ads no longer required

Radio and TV stations can now meet the EEO requirement that job openings be widely disseminated by relying exclusively on online recruiting sources, and no longer must couple such outreach with on-air or print recruiting ads. That’s the gist of a declaratory ruling issued by the FCC April 21 in response to recommendations by TAB and other state broadcast associations.

The ruling allows a broadcaster to rely on a single online job posting for a vacancy if the posting appears on a website that is so widely used that it can reasonably be expected to widely disseminate information about the job vacancy.

However, media law experts caution that the FCC has not yet clarified that standard.  Instead, stations should continue to use multiple online sources such as TAB’s Job Bank and their own websites.

The FCC did agree that stations should embrace three practices recommended by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) to ensure optimal results for broadcasters’ recruitment outreach efforts, including:

  1. The online job posting must be easy to find;
  2. Job openings should be posted online for an adequate period of time with auditable interview records maintained; and
  3. Broadcasters should “continue to cultivate job referral relationships with resources that are likely to include diverse candidates.”

Stations also still need to provide notices about job openings to community groups that request them and must continue to educate the public about jobs at broadcast stations, including how to find out when those positions are available and what qualifications are needed for a career in the industry.

Options for such engagement include having broadcasters address community groups and educational institutions, participate in career expos, and offer scholarships, internships, mentorship programs and employee training programs.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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