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FCC Relaxes EEO Rules for Rehiring Employees During Pandemic

(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—In an effort to help broadcasters and pay-TV providers who have had to lay off employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FCC announced today that it would waive hiring rules under the commission’s Equal Employment Opportunity recruitment regulations. 

Normally, broadcasters with five or more full-time employees and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) with six or more employees have to engage in “broad recruitment” outreach when seeking new hires, to comply with EEO rules. The waiver will allow companies to avoid having to follow the EEO rules in hiring if they rehire employees who were laid off during the pandemic within nine months after termination.  

“Given the unique importance of broadcasters and MVPDs in providing access to breaking news and critical information relating to the pandemic, the public interest, convenience and necessity would be best served by encouraging these entities to maintain, or quickly resume, normal operations,” the commission said. “Facilitating the expeditious re-hiring of full-time employees laid off as a result of the pandemic to job vacancies created by the pandemic supports this important goal.”

The waiver is effective immediately.