5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: June 30

As the saying goes, the news never stops. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories impacting American workplaces and communities.

1. Independence Day and Juneteenth: A Historical Contrast

On Tuesday, July 4, many American workplaces will close their offices in observance of Independence Day. While the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, not all Americans gained freedom that day. 

Black people were enslaved for almost another 100 years after that and didn’t gain their independence until June 19, 1865, known as Juneteenth. Congress made July 4 a federal holiday in 1870, while Juneteenth was recognized as a national holiday in 2021.  

Visit us on LinkedIn next week for more July 4 facts! 

2. Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Goes Into Effect

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) took effect on June 27. The law was passed in December and requires employers to provide pregnant workers with accommodations, from pregnancy to childbirth to recovery post-partum.  

The law is similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations temporarily. It also bans employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants for pregnancy-related accommodations.  

Companies like Accenture (a Fair360 Hall of Fame Company) have policies for pregnant workers. The global professional services company provides 16 weeks of paid maternity leave for birth parents and eight weeks of paid leave for other parents. Read more about prioritizing the health and well-being of pregnant workers.  

3. Eli Lilly to Acquire Sigilon Therapeutics, Advancing Functional Cures for Chronic Diseases

Eli Lilly and Company (No. 5 on the Fair360 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) has agreed to acquire Sigilon Therapeutics.  

The acquisition aims to develop functional cures for patients with various acute and chronic diseases, mainly focusing on type 1 diabetes.  

The agreement involves a cash purchase price of $14.92 per share, with additional contingent value rights (CVR) potentially totaling up to $111.64 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and tender offer acceptance by Sigilon’s stockholders. 

4. LinkedIn Data Reveals Including Skills in Job Postings Attracts More Applicants

LinkedIn data shows that adding relevant skills to the requirements section of job postings can significantly increase their effectiveness, with an 11% boost in conversion rates.  

This approach aligns with the growing trend of skills-first hiring, which 75% of talent professionals plan to prioritize in the coming year. By explicitly listing skills, job posts become more appealing and inclusive, allowing candidates to envision themselves in the role based on their relevant skills rather than strict experience requirements.  

5. Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian and Hispanic Populations Show Significant Growth in the U.S.

A recent analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Axios reveals that the Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian and Hispanic populations experienced the most significant percentage increases between 2000 and 2022.  

In that timeframe: 

  • The Hispanic population increased to almost 64 million
  • The Asian population grew to 21 million
  • The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders population rose to nearly 879,000

Axios reports that these demographic shifts provide valuable insights into the changing racial and ethnic composition of the country and have implications for national policies and programs.