On October 30, 2023, the FCC released yet another list of broadcast stations that will be audited regarding their compliance with the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) rules. Licensees of the audited stations will have to upload their audit responses to their online public inspection files by December 14, 2023.
Approximately twice per year, the FCC randomly selects stations for audit to ensure that they are fulfilling their EEO obligations. Broadcast “Employment Units” (as that term is defined by the FCC) with five or more full-time employees (30+ hours per week) are required to recruit broadly for minority and female applicants for job openings, and, critically, to document their efforts. For broadcast employment units with fewer than five full-time employees, an audit response is still required, but response requirements are less rigorous.
It is essential that stations keep detailed records of their recruitment activities as they will be expected to produce relevant documentation if they are audited. If you do the job but forget your homework, you can be in for a world of trouble.
If your station is on the FCC’s EEO audit list, be sure to carefully review the instructions provided in your audit letter and if you have any questions, contact your FHH attorney for guidance.