In a move that may signal a more aggressive approach to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) enforcement, the FCC recently issued fines ranging from $8,000 to $20,000 to six broadcasters for numerous EEO violations. Among the offenses cited in Notices of Apparent Liability were failure to retain required records related to the recruitment, interview and hiring processes; failure to recruit broadly; too few recruitment initiatives; and failure to adequately assess EEO performance. The Commission also stated that Internet postings and "word-of-mouth" recruiting do not satisfy the requirement to broadly disseminate information about job vacancies. In addition to the substantial fines levied, the licensees will be required to submit detailed EEO information to the FCC annually for the next three years so that the agency can monitor their performance.
In a joint statement, Commissioners Copps and Adelstein called the Commission's recent efforts to promote employment diversity "woefully inadequate" and criticized the FCC for its lack of commitment to its EEO rules in recent years. The Commissioners also declared that "employment in broadcasting does not reflect America," and called for the compilation and release of FCC Form 395 data, as well as the filing of annual employment reports to track industry trends.