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Proposed Rule

Review of the Commission's Broadcast and Cable Equal Employment Opportunity Rules and Policies

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

In this document the Commission solicits comment on how to apply Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) rules to part-time employees. The Commission also seeks comment on how many and what types of positions in the broadcast and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) industry would fall into the part-time classification. The intended effect is to invite comments on all aspects of the Commission's proposal.

DATES:

Comments are due on or before December 20, 2002; reply comments are due on or before January 6, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Estella Salvatierra, Media Bureau, (202) 418-1789 or via e-mail at Esalvatierra@fcc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Media Bureau's Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“3rd NPRM”) MM 98-204; FCC 02-303, adopted November 7, 2002, and released November 20, 2002. The complete text of this 3rd NPRM is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC and may also be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Qualex International, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B-402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone (202) 863-2893, facsimile (202) 863-2898, or via email qualexint@aol.com. Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415 and 1.419 comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings (63 FR 24121, May 1, 1998). This document is available in alternative formats (computer diskette, large print, audio record, and Braille). Persons with disabilities who need documents in these formats may contact Brian Millin at (202) 418-7426 (voice), (202) 418-7365 (TTY), or via e mail at bmillin@fcc.gov. Parties may submit their comments using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (“ECFS”) or by filing paper copies. Comments may be filed as an electronic file via the Internet at http://www.fcc.gov/​e-file/​ecfs.html. Generally, only one copy of an electronic submission must be filed. If multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding commenters must transmit one electronic copy of the comments to each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, commenters should include their full name, Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To obtain filing instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and should include the following words in the body of the message: “get form <your e-mail address>.” A sample form and directions will be sent in reply. Additional information on ECFS is available at http://www.fcc.gov/​e-file/​ecfs.html.

Filings may also be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appear in the caption of this proceeding, commenters must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. The Commission's contractor, Vistronix, Inc., will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building. Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class mail, Express Mail, and Priority Mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

Synopsis of Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

1. The EEO rules apply to all “full-time employees,” defined as those whose regular work schedule is 30 hours or more a week. We have previously applied a “substantial compliance” policy to positions involving less than 30 hours a week, although we did not require reporting of this effort and did not focus on part-time hires in our review of EEO programs. As discussed, we do not have sufficient evidence in the current record to make an informed decision about whether and how to apply the new EEO rules and policies to part-time positions, defined as less than 30 hours per week. We are thus seeking comment on this issue. In particular, we seek comment on how many and what types of positions in the broadcast and MVPD industries fall into this category, what is the significance of these positions in terms of entry into broadcasting, how burdensome compliance with the recruitment, record-keeping, and reporting requirements for all or some part-time positions would be for broadcasters and MVPDs, and whether the requirements applicable to part-time positions should be the same as or different from those applicable to full-time positions. We also seek comment on whether we should set a minimum number of hours for a part-time position to be covered by the rules and, if so, what that minimum should be.

Procedural Matters

2. Ex Parte Rules. With respect to the 3rd NPRM, this is a permit-but-disclose notice and comment proceeding. Ex parte presentations are permitted except during the Sunshine Agenda period, provided they are disclosed as provided in the Commission's Rules. See: 47 CFR 1.1202, 1.1203, and 1.1206(a).

7. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. With respect to the 3rd NPRM, an IRFA is contained. As required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Commission has prepared an IRFA of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the proposals contained in this 3rd NPRM. Written public comments are requested on the IRFA. Comments on the IRFA must be filed in accordance with the same filing deadlines as comments on the 3rd NPRM, but they must have a distinct heading designating them as responses to the IRFA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

3. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis. This 3rd NPRM contains either a proposed or modified Start Printed Page 77375information collection in that part-time hires could potentially be subject to information collection requirements. As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, we invite the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to take this opportunity to comment on the information collections contained in this 3rd NPRM, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Public and agency comments are due at the same time as other comments on this 3rd NPRM; OMB comments are due 60 days from the date of publication of this 3rd NPRM in the Federal Register. Comments should address: (a) Whether the potential collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any comments on the information collections contained herein should be submitted to Judy Boley, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C804, 445 Twelfth Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554, or via the Internet to jboley@fcc.gov and to Edward Springer, OMB Desk Officer, 10236 NEOB, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503, or via the Internet to Edward.Springer@omb.eop.gov.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

4. As required by the RFA, the Commission has prepared this present IRFA of the possible significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this 3rd NPRM. Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments on the 3rd NPRM provided. The Commission will send a copy of the 3rd NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. In addition, the 3rd NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.

A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rule Changes

5. This 3rd NPRM requests comments concerning the applicability of new equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) rules and policies with respect to part-time employees of broadcast and multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”). The EEO rules apply to full-time employees, defined as those whose regular work schedule is 30 hours or more a week. The current record is insufficient to allow the Commission to determine whether and how to apply the rules to part-time positions, defined as fewer than 30 hours per week. The 3rd NPRM seeks comment on this issue. In particular, the 3rd NPRM seeks comment on how many and what types of positions in the broadcast and MVPD industries fall into this category; the significance of these positions in terms of entry into broadcasting; how burdensome compliance with the recruitment, record-keeping, and reporting requirements for all or some part-time positions would be for broadcasters and MVPDs; and whether the requirements applicable to part-time positions should be the same as or different from those applicable to full-time positions. We also seek comment on whether we should set a minimum number of hours for a part-time position to be covered by the rules and, if so, what that minimum should be.

B. Legal Basis

6. Authority for the actions proposed in this 3rd NPRM may be found in sections 1, 4(i), 4(k), 257, 301, 303(r), 307, 308(b), 309, 334, 403, and 634 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(k), 257, 301, 303(r), 307, 308(b), 309, 334, 403, and 554.

C. Recording, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

7. As noted, the purpose of this rulemaking is to determine whether and how to apply the Commission's EEO rules to employment positions involving fewer than 30 hours per week. Hence, this 3rd NPRM anticipates that any recording, recordkeeping and compliance requirements proposed for part-time employees will not exceed those already provided for full-time employees.

D. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule Would Apply

1. Definition of a “Small Business”

8. The proposed rules would apply to broadcast stations and MVPDs. The RFA directs the Commission to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted herein. Under the RFA, small entities may include small organizations, small businesses, and small governmental jurisdictions. The RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601(3), generally defines the term “small business” as having the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the [SBA] and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”

9. A small organization is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of 1992, there were approximately 275,801 small organizations. Finally, “small governmental jurisdiction” generally means “governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than 50,000.” As of 1992, there were approximately 85,006 such jurisdictions in the United States. This number includes 38,978 counties, cities, and towns; of these, 37,566, or 96 percent, have populations of fewer than 50,000. The United States Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) estimates that this ratio is approximately accurate for all governmental entities. Thus, of the 85,006 governmental entities, we estimate that 81,600 (91 percent) are small entities.

2. Issues in Applying the Definition of a “Small Business”

10. As discussed, we could not precisely apply the foregoing definition of “small business” in developing our estimates of the number of small entities to which the rules will apply. Our estimates reflect our best judgments based on the data available to us. An element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific radio or television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the following estimates of small businesses to which the new rules will apply do not exclude any radio or television station from the definition of a small business on this Start Printed Page 77376basis and are therefore overinclusive to that extent. An additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. As discussed further below, we could not fully apply this criterion, and our estimates of small businesses to which the rules may apply may be overinclusive to this extent. The SBA's general size standards are developed taking into account these two statutory criteria. This does not preclude us from taking these factors into account in making our estimates of the numbers of small entities.

11. With respect to applying the revenue cap, the SBA has defined “annual receipts” specifically in 13 CFR 121.104, and its calculations include an averaging process. We do not currently require submission of financial data from licensees that we could use in applying the SBA's definition of a small business. Thus, for purposes of estimating the number of small entities to which the rules apply, we are limited to considering the revenue data that are publicly available, and the revenue data on which we rely may not correspond completely with the SBA definition of annual receipts.

12. Under SBA criteria for determining annual receipts, if a concern has acquired an affiliate or been acquired as an affiliate during the applicable averaging period for determining annual receipts, the annual receipts in determining size status include the receipts of both firms. The SBA defines affiliation in 13 CFR 121.103. In this context, the SBA's definition of affiliate is analogous to our attribution rules. Generally, under the SBA's definition, concerns are affiliates of each other when one concern controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party or parties controls or has the power to control both. The SBA considers factors such as ownership, management, previous relationships with or ties to another concern, and contractual relationships, in determining whether affiliation exists. Instead of making an independent determination of whether television stations were affiliated based on SBA's definitions, we relied on the databases available to us to provide us with that information.

3. Estimates Based on Census Data

13. The proposed rules will apply to broadcast television and radio stations. The SBA defines a television broadcasting station that has no more than $12.0 million in annual receipts as a small business. Television broadcasting stations consist of establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting visual programs by television to the public, except cable and other pay television services. Included in this industry are commercial, religious, educational, and other television stations. Also included are establishments primarily engaged in television broadcasting and which produce taped television program materials. Separate establishments primarily engaged in producing taped television program materials are classified under other North American Industry Classification (NAICS) numbers.

14. There were 1,695 full-service television stations operating in the as of December 2001. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 906 Television Broadcasting firms, total, that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 734 firms had annual receipts of $9,999,999.00 or less and an additional 71 had receipts of $10 million to $24,999,999.00. Under this standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

15. The SBA defines a radio broadcasting station that has no more than $6 million in annual receipts as a small business. A radio broadcasting station is an establishment primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Included in this industry are commercial, religious, educational, and other radio stations. Radio broadcasting stations which primarily are engaged in radio broadcasting and which produce radio program materials are similarly included. Radio stations which are separate establishments and are primarily engaged in producing radio program material are classified under another NAICS number. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 4,476 Radio Stations (firms), total, that operated for the entire year. Of this total 4,265 had annual receipts of $4,999,999.00 or less, and an additional 103 firms had receipts of $5 million to $9,999,999.00. Under this standard, the great majority of firms can be considered small.

16. The proposed rules would also apply to MVPDs. SBA has developed a definition of a small entity for cable and other program distribution, which includes all such companies generating $12.5 million or less in annual receipts. This definition includes direct broadcast satellite services (DBS), multipoint distribution systems (MDS), and local multipoint distribution service (LMDS). According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 1,311 firms within the industry category Cable and Other Program Distribution, total, that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 1,180 firms had annual receipts of $9,999,999.00 or less, and an additional 52 firms had receipts of $10 million to $24,999,999.00. Under this standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

17. Cable Systems: The Commission has developed, with SBA's approval, its own definition of small cable system operators. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving fewer than 400,000 subscribers nationwide. Based on our most recent information, we estimate that there were 1,439 cable operators that qualified as small cable companies at the end of 1995. Since then, some of those companies may have grown to serve more than 400,000 subscribers, and others may have been involved in transactions that caused them to be combined with other cable operators. Consequently, we estimate that there are fewer than 1,439 small entity cable system operators that may be affected by the rules proposed herein.

18. The Communications Act also contains a definition of a small cable system operator, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate less than 1% of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenue in the aggregate exceeds $250,000,000.” The Commission has determined that there are 67,700,000 subscribers in the United States. We found that an operator serving fewer than 677,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator, if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all of its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Based on available data, we find that the number of cable operators serving 677,000 subscribers or less totals approximately 1,450. Since we do not request nor collect information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

19. MDS: MDS involves a variety of transmitters, which are used to relay programming to the home or office. The Commission has defined “small entity” for purposes of the 1996 auction of MDS as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross annual revenues that are not more than $40 million for the preceding three calendar years. This definition of a small entity Start Printed Page 77377in the context of MDS auctions has been approved by the SBA. These stations were licensed prior to implementation of section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Licenses for new MDS facilities are now awarded to auction winners in Basic Trading Areas (BTAs) and BTA-like areas. The MDS auctions resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 BTAs. Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the definition of a small business.

20. LMDS: The auction of the 1,030 LMDS licenses began on February 18, 1998, and closed on March 25, 1998. The Commission defined “small entity” for LMDS licenses as an entity that has average gross revenues of less than $40 million in the three previous calendar years. An additional classification for “very small business” was added and is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three calendar years. These regulations defining “small entity” in the context of LMDS auctions have been approved by the SBA. There were 93 winning bidders that qualified as small entities in the LMDS auctions. A total of 93 small and very small business bidders won approximately 277 A Block licenses and 387 B Block licenses. On March 27, 1999, the Commission reauctioned 161 licenses; there were 40 winning bidders. Based on this information, we conclude that the number of small LMDS licenses will include the 93 winning bidders in the first auction and the 40 winning bidders in the reauction, for a total of 133 small entity LMDS providers as defined by the SBA and the Commission's auction rules.

21. DBS: Because DBS provides subscription services, it falls within the SBA-recognized definition of “Cable and Other Program Distribution.” This definition provides that a small entity is one with $12.5 million or less in annual receipts. Currently, there are nine DBS authorizations, though there are only two DBS companies in operation at this time. We neither request nor collect annual revenue information for DBS services, and are unable to determine the number of DBS operators that would be considered a small business under the SBA definition.

22. An alternative way to classify small entities is by the number of employees. Based on available data, we estimate that in 1997 the total number of full-service broadcast stations with four or fewer employees was 5186, of which 340 were television stations. Similarly, we estimate that in 1997, 1900 cable employment units employed fewer than six full-time employees. Also, in 1997, 296 “MVPD” employment units employed fewer than six full-time employees. We also estimate that in 1997, the total number of full-service broadcast stations with five to ten employees was 2145, of which 200 were television stations. Similarly, we estimate that in 1997, 322 cable employment units employed six to ten full-time employees. Also, in 1997, approximately 65 MVPD employment units employed six to ten full-time employees.

E. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

23. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.

24. This 3rd NPRM seeks comments on the applicability of the EEO rules to part-time employees, and would not change the status of small broadcasters or MVPDs.

25. We note that the issue at hand affects the compliance burdens of entities that, by definition, are not within our EEO small business size standards. We have nonetheless created this present initial analysis to encourage comments by small entities and create a fuller record.

26. Currently, broadcasters with station employment units of five to ten full-time employees are provided some relief from EEO program requirements, and station employment units of fewer than five full-time employees are not required to demonstrate compliance with the EEO program requirements. In addition, MVPD employment units employing six to ten full-time employees are provided some relief from the EEO program requirements, and MVPD employment units with fewer than six full-time employees are not required to demonstrate compliance with the EEO program requirements.

F. Federal Rules That Overlap, Duplicate, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

27. We note that certain commenters have indicated that federal, state and local EEO requirements serve much the same purpose as our EEO Rule. We have addressed these arguments in 3rd NPRM.

Ordering Clause

28. Authority. This 3 NPRM is issued pursuant to authority contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(k), 257, 301, 303(r), 307, 308(b), 309, 334, 403, and 634 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(k), 257, 301, 303(r), 307, 308(b), 309, 334, 403, and 554.

29. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this 3rd NPRM including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

30. MM Docket No. 98-204 will remain open for the limited purpose of considering the issues raised in this 3rd NPRM, and to facilitate any additional proceedings upon further order of the Commission.

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List of Subjects in 47 CFR Parts 73 and 76

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary.

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Rule Changes

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR parts 73 and 76 as follows:

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PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES

1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 334 and 336.

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2. Section 73.2080 is revised to read as follows:

Equal employment opportunities (EEO).

(a) General EEO policy. Equal opportunity in employment shall be afforded by all licensees or permittees of commercially or noncommercially operated AM, FM, TV, Class A TV or international broadcast stations (as defined in this part) to all qualified persons, and no person shall be discriminated against in employment by such stations because of race, color, Start Printed Page 77378religion, national origin, or sex. Religious radio broadcasters may establish religious belief or affiliation as a job qualification for all station employees. However, they cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin or gender from among those who share their religious affiliation or belief. For purposes of this rule, a religious broadcaster is a licensee which is, or is closely affiliated with, a church, synagogue, or other religious entity, including a subsidiary of such an entity.

(b) General EEO program requirements. Each broadcast station shall establish, maintain, and carry out a positive continuing program of specific practices designed to ensure equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in every aspect of station employment policy and practice. Under the terms of its program, a station shall:

(1) Define the responsibility of each level of management to ensure vigorous enforcement of its policy of equal opportunity, and establish a procedure to review and control managerial and supervisory performance;

(2) Inform its employees and recognized employee organizations of the equal employment opportunity policy and program and enlist their cooperation;

(3) Communicate its equal employment opportunity policy and program and its employment needs to sources of qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, and solicit their recruitment assistance on a continuing basis;

(4) Conduct a continuing program to exclude all unlawful forms of prejudice or discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, or sex from its personnel policies and practices and working conditions; and

(5) Conduct a continuing review of job structure and employment practices and adopt positive recruitment, job design, and other measures needed to ensure genuine equality of opportunity to participate fully in all organizational units, occupations, and levels of responsibility.

(c) Specific EEO program requirements. Under the terms of its program, a station employment unit must:

(1) Recruit for every full-time job vacancy in its operation. A job filled by an internal promotion is not considered a vacancy for which recruitment is necessary. Religious radio broadcasters who establish religious affiliation as a qualification for a job position are not required to comply with these recruitment requirements with respect to that job position or positions, but will be expected to make reasonable, good faith efforts to recruit applicants who are qualified based on their religious affiliation. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require a broadcaster to grant preferential treatment to any individual or group based on race, color, national origin, religion, or gender.

(i) A station employment unit shall use recruitment sources for each vacancy sufficient in its reasonable, good faith judgment to widely disseminate information concerning the vacancy.

(ii) In addition to such recruitment sources, a station employment unit shall provide notification of each full-time vacancy to any organization that distributes information about employment opportunities to job seekers or refers job seekers to employers, upon request by such organization. To be entitled to notice of vacancies, the requesting organization must provide the station employment unit with its name, mailing address, e-mail address (if applicable), telephone number, and contact person, and identify the category or categories of vacancies of which it requests notice. (An organization may request notice of all vacancies).

(2) Engage in at least four (if the station employment unit has more than ten full-time employees and is not located in a smaller market) or two (if it has five to ten full-time employees and/or is located entirely in a smaller market) of the following initiatives during each two-year period beginning with the date stations in the station employment unit are required to file renewal applications, or the second, fourth or sixth anniversaries of that date.

(i) Participation in at least four job fairs by station personnel who have substantial responsibility in the making of hiring decisions;

(ii) Hosting of at least one job fair;

(iii) Co-sponsoring at least one job fair with organizations in the business and professional community whose membership includes substantial participation of women and minorities;

(iv) Participation in at least four events sponsored by organizations representing groups present in the community interested in broadcast employment issues, including conventions, career days, workshops, and similar activities;

(v) Establishment of an internship program designed to assist members of the community to acquire skills needed for broadcast employment;

(vi) Participation in job banks, Internet programs, and other programs designed to promote outreach generally (i.e., that are not primarily directed to providing notification of specific job vacancies);

(vii) Participation in scholarship programs designed to assist students interested in pursuing a career in broadcasting;

(viii) Establishment of training programs designed to enable station personnel to acquire skills that could qualify them for higher level positions;

(ix) Establishment of a mentoring program for station personnel;

(x) Participation in at least four events or programs sponsored by educational institutions relating to career opportunities in broadcasting;

(xi) Sponsorship of at least two events in the community designed to inform and educate members of the public as to employment opportunities in broadcasting;

(xii) Listing of each upper-level category opening in a job bank or newsletter of media trade groups whose membership includes substantial participation of women and minorities;

(xiii) Provision of assistance to unaffiliated non-profit entities in the maintenance of web sites that provide counseling on the process of searching for broadcast employment and/or other career development assistance pertinent to broadcasting;

(xiv) Provision of training to management level personnel as to methods of ensuring equal employment opportunity and preventing discrimination;

(xv) Provision of training to personnel of unaffiliated non-profit organizations interested in broadcast employment opportunities that would enable them to better refer job candidates for broadcast positions;

(xvi) Participation in other activities designed by the station employment unit reasonably calculated to further the goal of disseminating information as to employment opportunities in broadcasting to job candidates who might otherwise be unaware of such opportunities.

(3) Analyze its recruitment program on an ongoing basis to ensure that it is effective in achieving broad outreach to potential applicants, and address any problems found as a result of its analysis.

(4) Periodically analyze measures taken to:

(i) Disseminate the station's equal employment opportunity program to job applicants and employees; Start Printed Page 77379

(ii) Review seniority practices to ensure that such practices are nondiscriminatory;

(iii) Examine rates of pay and fringe benefits for employees having the same duties, and eliminate any inequities based upon race, national origin, color, religion, or sex discrimination;

(iv) Utilize media for recruitment purposes in a manner that will contain no indication, either explicit or implicit, of a preference for one race, national origin, color, religion or sex over another;

(v) Ensure that promotions to positions of greater responsibility are made in a nondiscriminatory manner;

(vi) Where union agreements exist, cooperate with the union or unions in the development of programs to ensure all persons of equal opportunity for employment, irrespective of race, national origin, color, religion, or sex, and include an effective nondiscrimination clause in new or renegotiated union agreements; and

(vii) Avoid the use of selection techniques or tests that have the effect of discriminating against any person based on race, national origin, color, religion, or sex.

(5) Retain records to document that it has satisfied the requirements of paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section. Such records, which may be maintained in an electronic format, shall be retained until after grant of the renewal application for the term during which the vacancy was filled or the initiative occurred. Such records need not be submitted to the FCC unless specifically requested. The following records shall be maintained:

(i) Listings of all full-time job vacancies filled by the station employment unit, identified by job title;

(ii) For each such vacancy, the recruitment sources utilized to fill the vacancy (including, if applicable, organizations entitled to notification pursuant to paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, which should be separately identified), identified by name, address, contact person and telephone number;

(iii) Dated copies of all advertisements, bulletins, letters, faxes, e-mails, or other communications announcing vacancies;

(iv) Documentation necessary to demonstrate performance of the initiatives required by paragraph (c)(2) of this section, including sufficient information to fully disclose the nature of the initiative and the scope of the station's participation, including the station personnel involved;

(v) The total number of interviewees for each vacancy and the referral source for each interviewee; and

(vi) The date each vacancy was filled and the recruitment source that referred the hiree.

(6) Annually, on the anniversary of the date a station is due to file its renewal application, the station shall place in its public file, maintained pursuant to § 73.3526 or § 73.3527, and on its web site, if it has one, an EEO public file report containing the following information (although if any broadcast licensee acquires a station pursuant to FCC Form 314 or FCC Form 315 during the twelve months covered by the EEO public file report, its EEO public file report shall cover the period starting with the date it acquired the station):

(i) A list of all full-time vacancies filled by the station's employment unit during the preceding year, identified by job title;

(ii) For each such vacancy, the recruitment source(s) utilized to fill the vacancy (including, if applicable, organizations entitled to notification pursuant to paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, which should be separately identified), identified by name, address, contact person and telephone number;

(iii) The recruitment source that referred the hiree for each full-time vacancy during the preceding year;

(iv) Data reflecting the total number of persons interviewed for full-time vacancies during the preceding year and the total number of interviewees referred by each recruitment source utilized in connection with such vacancies; and

(v) A list and brief description of initiatives undertaken pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section during the preceding year.

(d) Small Station Exemption. The provisions of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section shall not apply to station employment units that have fewer than five full-time employees.

(e) Definitions. For the purposes of this rule:

(1) A full-time employee is a permanent employee whose regular work schedule is 30 hours per week or more.

(2) A station employment unit is a station or a group of commonly owned stations in the same market that share at least one employee.

(3) A smaller market includes metropolitan areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget with a population of fewer than 250,000 persons and areas outside of all metropolitan areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.

(f) Enforcement. The following provisions apply to employment activity concerning full-time positions at each broadcast station employment unit (defined in this part) employing five or more persons in full-time positions, except where noted.

(1) All broadcast stations, including those that are part of an employment unit with fewer than five full-time employees, shall file a Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (Form 396) with their renewal application. Form 396 is filed on the date the station is due to file its application for renewal of license. If a broadcast licensee acquires a station pursuant to FCC Form 314 or FCC Form 315 during the period that is to form the basis for the Form 396, information provided on its Form 396 should cover the licensee's EEO recruitment activity during the period starting with the date it acquired the station. Stations are required to maintain a copy of their Form 396 in the station's public file in accordance with the provisions of §§ 73.3526 and 73.3527.

(2) The Commission will conduct a mid-term review of the employment practices of each broadcast television station and each radio station that is part of an employment unit of more than ten full-time employees four years following the station's most recent license expiration date as specified in § 73.1020. Each such licensee is required to file with the Commission the Broadcast Mid-Term Report (FCC Form 397) four months prior to that date. If a broadcast licensee acquires a station pursuant to FCC Form 314 or FCC Form 315 during the period that is to form the basis for the Form 397, its Report should cover the licensee's EEO recruitment activity during the period starting with the date it acquired the station.

(3) If a station is subject to a time brokerage agreement, the licensee shall file Forms 396, Forms 397, and EEO public file reports concerning only its own recruitment activity. If a licensee is a broker of another station or stations, the licensee-broker shall include its recruitment activity for the brokered station(s) in determining the bases of Forms 396, Forms 397 and the EEO public file reports for its own station. If a licensee-broker owns more than one station, it shall include its recruitment activity for the brokered station in the Forms 396, Forms 397, and EEO public file reports filed for its own station that is most closely affiliated with, and in the same market as, the brokered station. If a licensee-broker does not own a station in the same market as the brokered station, then it shall include its recruitment activity for the brokered station in the Forms 396, Forms 397, and EEO public file reports filed for its Start Printed Page 77380own station that is geographically closest to the brokered station.

(4) Broadcast stations subject to this section shall maintain records of their recruitment activity necessary to demonstrate that they are in compliance with the EEO rule. Stations shall ensure that they maintain records sufficient to verify the accuracy of information provided in Forms 396, Forms 397, and EEO public file reports. To determine compliance with the EEO Rule, the Commission may conduct inquiries of licensees at random or if it has evidence of a possible violation of the EEO Rule. In addition, the Commission will conduct random audits. Specifically, each year approximately five percent of all licensees in the television and radio services will be randomly selected for audit, ensuring that, even though the number of radio licensees is significantly larger than television licensees, both services are represented in the audit process. Upon request, stations shall make records available to the Commission for its review.

(5) The public may file complaints throughout the license term based on a station's Form 397 or the contents of a station's public file. Provisions concerning filing, withdrawing, or non-filing of informal objections or petitions to deny license renewal, assignment, or transfer applications are delineated in §§ 73.3584 and 73.3587-3589 of the Commission's rules.

(g) Sanctions and Remedies. The Commission may issue appropriate sanctions and remedies for any violation of this rule.

End Part Start Part

PART 76—MULTICHANNEL VIDEO AND CABLE TELEVISION SERVICE

3. The authority citation for part 76 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 153, 154, 301, 302, 303, 303a, 307, 308, 309, 312, 317, 325, 503, 521, 522, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 543, 544, 544a, 545, 548, 549, 552, 554, 556, 558, 560, 561, 571, 572, 573.

End Authority

4. Section 76.75 is amended by revising paragraphs (b), (f), (g), (h), (i), and (j); and removing paragraph (k), to read as follows:

Specific EEO program requirements.
* * * * *

(b) Establish, maintain and carry out a positive continuing program of outreach activities designed to ensure equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in employment. The following activities shall be undertaken by each employment unit:

(1) Recruit for every full-time job vacancy in its operation. A job filled by an internal promotion is not considered a vacancy for which recruitment is necessary. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require a multichannel video programming distributor to grant preferential treatment to any individual or group based on race, national origin, color, religion, age, or gender.

(i) An employment unit shall use recruitment sources for each vacancy sufficient in its reasonable, good faith judgment to widely disseminate information concerning the vacancy.

(ii) In addition to using such recruitment sources, a multichannel video programming distributor employment unit shall provide notification of each full-time vacancy to any organization that distributes information about employment opportunities to job seekers or refers job seekers to employers, upon request by such organization. To be entitled to notice of vacancies, the requesting organization must provide the multichannel video programming distributor employment unit with its name, mailing address, e-mail address (if applicable), telephone number, and contact person, and identify the category or categories of vacancies of which it requests notice. (An organization may request notice of all vacancies).

(2) Engage in at least two (if the unit has more than ten full-time employees and is not located in a smaller market) or one (if the unit has six to ten full-time employees and/or is located, in whole or in part, in a smaller market) of the following initiatives during each twelve-month period preceding the filing of an EEO program annual report:

(i) Participation in at least two job fairs by unit personnel who have substantial responsibility in the making of hiring decisions;

(ii) Hosting of at least one job fair;

(iii) Co-sponsoring at least one job fair with organizations in the business and professional community whose membership includes substantial participation of women and minorities;

(iv) Participation in at least two events sponsored by organizations representing groups present in the community interested in multichannel video programming distributor employment issues, including conventions, career days, workshops, and similar activities;

(v) Establishment of an internship program designed to assist members of the community in acquiring skills needed for multichannel video programming distributor employment;

(vi) Participation in job banks, Internet programs, and other programs designed to promote outreach generally (i.e., that are not primarily directed to providing notification of specific job vacancies);

(vii) Participation in a scholarship program designed to assist students interested in pursuing a career in multichannel video programming communications;

(viii) Establishment of training programs designed to enable unit personnel to acquire skills that could qualify them for higher level positions;

(ix) Establishment of a mentoring program for unit personnel;

(x) Participation in at least two events or programs sponsored by educational institutions relating to career opportunities in multichannel video programming communications;

(xi) Sponsorship of at least one event in the community designed to inform and educate members of the public as to employment opportunities in multichannel video programming communications;

(xii) Listing of each upper-level category opening in a job bank or newsletter of media trade groups whose membership includes substantial participation of women and minorities;

(xiii) Provision of assistance to unaffiliated non-profit entities in the maintenance of web sites that provide counseling on the process of searching for multichannel video programming employment and/or other career development assistance pertinent to multichannel video programming communications;

(xiv) Provision of training to management level personnel as to methods of ensuring equal employment opportunity and preventing discrimination;

(xv) Provision of training to personnel of unaffiliated non-profit organizations interested in multichannel video programming employment opportunities that would enable them to better refer job candidates for multichannel video programming positions;

(xvi) Participation in other activities reasonably calculated by the unit to further the goal of disseminating information as to employment opportunities in multichannel video programming to job candidates who might otherwise be unaware of such opportunities.

* * * * *

(f) A multichannel video programming distributor shall analyze its recruitment program on an ongoing basis to ensure that it is effective in achieving broad outreach, and address any problems found as a result of its analysis. Start Printed Page 77381

(g) Analyze on an ongoing basis its efforts to recruit, hire, promote and use services without discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, age, or sex and explain any difficulties encountered in implementing its equal employment opportunity program. For example, this requirement may be met by:

(1) Where union agreements exist, cooperating with the union or unions in the development of programs to ensure all persons equal opportunity for employment, and including an effective nondiscrimination clause in new or renegotiated union agreements;

(2) Reviewing seniority practices to ensure that such practices are nondiscriminatory;

(3) Examining rates of pay and fringe benefits for employees having the same duties, and eliminating any inequities based upon race, national origin, color, religion, age, or sex discrimination;

(4) Evaluating the recruitment program to ensure that it is effective in achieving a broad outreach to potential applicants.

(5) Utilizing media for recruitment purposes in a manner that will contain no indication, either explicit or implicit, of a preference for one race, national origin, color, religion, age, or sex over another; and

(6) Avoiding the use of selection techniques or tests that have the effect of discriminating against qualified minority groups or women.

(h) A full-time employee is a permanent employee whose regular work schedule is 30 hours per week or more.

(i) The provisions of paragraphs (b)(1)(ii), (b)(2), (c), and (f) of this section shall not apply to multichannel video programming distributor employment units that have fewer than six full-time employees.

(j) For the purposes of this rule, a smaller market includes metropolitan areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget with a population of fewer than 250,000 persons and areas outside of all metropolitan areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.

5. Section 76.77 is revised to read as follows:

Reporting requirements and enforcement.

(a) EEO program annual reports. Information concerning a unit's compliance with the EEO recruitment requirements shall be filed by each employment unit with six or more full-time employees on FCC Form 396-C on or before September 30 of each year. If a multichannel video programming distributor acquires a unit during the twelve months covered by the EEO program annual report, the recruitment activity in the report shall cover the period starting with the date the entity acquired the unit.

(b) Certification of Compliance. The Commission will use the recruitment information submitted on a unit's EEO program annual report to determine whether the unit is in compliance with the provisions of this subpart. Units found to be in compliance with these rules will receive a Certificate of Compliance. Units found not to be in compliance will receive notice that they are not certified for a given year.

(c) Investigations. The Commission will investigate each unit at least once every five years. Employment units are required to submit supplemental investigation information with their regular EEO program annual reports in the years they are investigated. If an entity acquires a unit during the period covered by the supplemental investigation, the information submitted by the unit as part of the investigation shall cover the period starting with the date the operator acquired the unit. The supplemental investigation information shall include a copy of the unit's EEO public file report for the preceding year.

(d) Records and inquiries. Employment units subject to this subpart shall maintain records of their recruitment activity in accordance with § 76.75 to demonstrate whether they are in compliance with the EEO rules. Units shall ensure that they maintain records sufficient to verify the accuracy of information provided in their EEO program annual reports and the supplemental investigation responses required by § 76.1702 to be kept in a unit's public file. To determine compliance with the EEO rules, the Commission may conduct inquiries of employment units at random or if the Commission has evidence of a possible violation of the EEO rules. Upon request, employment units shall make records available to the Commission for its review.

(e) Public complaints. The public may file complaints based on EEO program annual reports, supplemental investigation information, or the contents of a unit's public file.

(f) Sanctions and remedies. The Commission may issue appropriate sanctions and remedies for any violation of the EEO rules.

6. Section 76.1702 is revised to read as follows:

Equal employment opportunity.

(a) Every employment unit with six or more full-time employees shall maintain for public inspection a file containing copies of all EEO program annual reports filed with the Commission pursuant to § 76.77 and the equal employment opportunity program information described in paragraph (b) of this section. These materials shall be placed in the unit's public inspection file annually by the date that the unit's EEO program annual report is due to be filed and shall be retained for a period of five years. The file shall be maintained at the central office and at every location with six or more full-time employees. A headquarters employment unit file and a file containing a consolidated set of all documents pertaining to the other employment units of a multichannel video programming distributor that operates multiple units shall be maintained at the central office of the headquarters employment unit. The multichannel video programming distributor shall provide reasonable accommodation at these locations for undisturbed inspection of its equal employment opportunity records by members of the public during regular business hours.

(b) The following equal employment opportunity program information shall be included annually in the unit's public file, and on the unit's web site, if it has one, at the time of the filing of its FCC Form 396-C:

(1) A list of all full-time vacancies filled by the multichannel video programming distributor employment unit during the preceding year, identified by job title;

(2) For each such vacancy, the recruitment source(s) utilized to fill the vacancy (including, if applicable, organizations entitled to notification pursuant to § 76.75(b)(1)(ii) of this section, which should be separately identified), identified by name, address, contact person and telephone number;

(3) The recruitment source that referred the hiree for each full-time vacancy during the preceding year;

(4) Data reflecting the total number of persons interviewed for full-time vacancies during the preceding year and the total number of interviewees referred by each recruitment source utilized in connection with such vacancies; and

(5) A list and brief description of the initiatives undertaken pursuant to § 76.75(b)(2) during the preceding year, if applicable.

Note:

The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

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Appendix—FCC Forms

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End Part End Supplemental Information

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P

[FR Doc. 02-31762 Filed 12-16-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-C