5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: May 26

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. May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the United States every May since 1949. During this month, organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) work to raise awareness, fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies benefiting those affected by mental illness.  

NAMI says common signs of mental health conditions include excessive worrying, persistent sadness, confused thinking, mood swings, social withdrawal and more. It’s crucial to seek help and resources from health professionals, helplines and community services.  

According to UnitedHealth Group (No. 15 on Fair360’s 2023 Top Hospitals and Health Systems list), mental health problems can emerge at any stage of life, even in children, and are influenced by personal experiences, emotions and individual stories.  

Certain risk factors, such as a history of abuse or trauma and a family history of mental health disorders, may increase the likelihood of developing mental health issues. Biological, social, emotional and environmental factors also play a role in contributing to these problems. For instance, conditions like depression can be linked to chemical imbalances in the brain, while social factors like bullying can impact mental well-being and the ability to navigate daily life. 

Visit UnitedHealth Group’s website to learn more about ways to understand mental health and seek help.  

2. The Rise of Pay Transparency: Shaping a Fairer Workplace

Pay transparency laws in states like California, Washington, New York and Colorado are driving a wave of workplace honesty in the United States.  

In an article written for Fortune, Glassdoor Chief Economist Aaron Terrazas said that these laws aim to reduce gender and racial pay gaps by requiring employers to disclose salary information for open roles. While pay transparency shows promise in leveling the playing field, it is not a complete solution to labor market issues.  

In a Fair360 article titled “4 Ways Employers Can Support Pay Equity,” Senior Business Writer Linda Bell wrote that pay equity enhances an organization’s reputation as an employer of choice, aligning with the growing trend of transparency.  

To support pay equity, employers should embrace pay transparency practices, rely on data for informed decision-making, revamp employment processes to comply with regulations and effectively communicate pay policies to build trust. These actions help attract and retain talent while promoting fairness and inclusion in the workplace. 

3. Census Data Sheds Light on Same-Sex Couples in US Households

2020 data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that states on the West Coast and the Northeast have the highest number of same-sex couples living in the same household.  

The recent data provides the most extensive information on married and unmarried same-sex couples in the same household.  

However, it highlights the continued lack of visibility for many other LGBTQ+ individuals, such as those who are single or in heterosexual relationships. NPR writes that this exclusion has implications for political representation, civil rights enforcement, research, policymaking and the allocation of federal funding, which amounts to approximately $1.5 trillion annually for public services in local communities. 

The recent census forms included a question about a person’s sex but did not inquire about sexual orientation or gender identity. The Census Bureau did introduce checkboxes for a question regarding household relationships, offering options to identify as a “same-sex” or “opposite-sex” spouse or unmarried partner. 

4. The Impact of Tech Layoffs: Perk Reductions Add to Employee Concerns

Given the slow demand and capital investment companies are experiencing, tech companies have cut approximately 200,000 jobs since the start of the year.  

These cuts won’t stop with layoffs. Tech companies are now reducing other perks, such as free lunch, on-site laundry and holiday parties, according to Insider. 

While most employees can deal with these types of benefit cuts, there are some they value more like 401(k) plans, disability insurance and coverage of egg freezing. Employees don’t have much room to fight to keep these perks if they want to stay employed given the increase in artificial intelligence (AI) and increases in offshore work.  

Read “How Tech Company Layoffs Have Widened the Employment Gap for Women and People of Color” to learn more about the impacts of tech company reductions. 

5. Medtronic Expands Reach in Insulin Delivery Market With $738M EOFlow Purchase

Medical technology company Medtronic (No. 2 on Fair360’s 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) announced that it plans to acquire EOFlow, a South Korean insulin delivery tech company, for $738 million.  

The acquisition is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2023. EOFlow’s flagship product is the EOPatch, a wearable and disposable insulin patch pump. By combining EOFlow’s technology with Medtronic’s Meal Detection Technology algorithm and continuous glucose monitor, the deal aims to expand access to insulin delivery options for a broader range of patients.  

With Fortune Business Insights projecting the global insulin pump market to reach $15.5 billion by 2030, this acquisition positions Medtronic to drive innovation and provide more choices for individuals with diabetes. 

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