WASHINGTON — Broadcasters and cable companies would be required to recruit minorities and women to fill vacancies but wouldn't be forced to hire them under a plan offered by federal regulators Thursday.
The Federal Communications Commission, without dissent, proposed rules designed to ensure that TV, radio and cable systems cast a wide net when filling vacancies. The action was taken in response to a court decision that overturned the agency's equal employment opportunity rules.
In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia scuttled the FCC's 30-year-old equal employment rules for TV and radio stations, declaring them unconstitutional.
Specifically, the court said the FCC's practice of comparing a station's work force with the racial composition of its market is illegal. The court said this pressured stations into hiring minorities and had the effect of a minority hiring quota.