FCC Issues Waiver of Broad Outreach Rules for COVID-19 Re-Hires
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) issued an Order on May 4, 2020, waiving the broad outreach requirements of its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules for re-hires of full-time employees laid off due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Commission’s EEO rules ordinarily require broadcast stations (with five or more full-time employees) to widely disseminate information when recruiting for their full-time job vacancies. However, citing the challenging economic conditions, including significant layoffs and workforce reductions in the media industry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance of media in providing access to breaking news and critical information, the FCC found good cause to waive the recruitment requirement to facilitate expeditious re-hiring and allow broadcasters to quickly resume normal operations. This waiver, which is effective immediately, allows licensees to re-hire a full-time employee without first conducting broad recruitment if the employee was laid off due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the re-hire occurs within nine months of the employee’s release date.
If you have any questions about this Order, or FCC EEO compliance in general, please contact the Wiley attorneys listed on this alert.