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Most Important Developments in HR for 1/24

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Delta Air Lines employees are going to be feeling the love on Valentine’s Day this year. The airline’s CEO announced Monday that Delta will pay out a record $1.6 billion in profit sharing to its employees next month. The bonus payment to the Atlanta-based company’s 90,000 employees on Feb. 14 will be equivalent to about two months’ salary, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said at a Cobb Chamber event Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This is the sixth straight year that Delta has paid out profit-sharing bonuses of more than $1 billion, and this year’s total surpasses the record of $1.5 billion in 2016 that Delta paid out. Delta was recently ranked the No. 1 airline in the U.S. by The Wall Street Journal, and was listed as No. 1 in the major airline category in TripAdvisor’s 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards. “For years, I would get beaten up by Wall Street. They thought the profits were theirs, and ‘Why are you giving the profits away to the employees?’” Bastian said at Monday’s event. “Wall Street has actually come full circle, and they realize that Delta is the most awarded airline in the world because of its employees.” Today

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A new report found widespread distrust in societal institutions — defined as government, business, NGOs, and the media — despite a strong global economy, a phenomenon it deemed a “trust paradox.” The report concluded that people’s fears about the future are driving this trend, and proposed institutions prioritize balancing competence with ethical behavior to rebuild public trust. The “Trust Barometer 2020” report was conducted by the communications firm Edelman, which has been running the survey for the past 20 years. The Barometer, which aims to survey trust and credibility around the world, is usually released at the start the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which began on Tuesday. The 2020 barometer surveyed over 34,000 people in 28 countries. Despite the strong global economy, the report found that 56% of respondents believe capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world; fewer than one in three people in developed markets said they believe they and their families will be better off in five years. The report found that, globally, 83% of employees are worried about losing their jobs to reasons including automation, a looming recession, lack of training, cheaper foreign competition, immigration, and the gig economy. Time

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The Grammy Awards are scheduled to kick off for the 62nd time on Sunday in Los Angeles, and the Recording Academy has been waging a messy legal and public relations battle with its own CEO, Deborah Dugan, who was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 16. On Tuesday, Dugan filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging that she was pushed out as retaliation for raising complaints about sexual harassment and cracking down on a culture of corruption and self-dealing. Her complaint also specifically alleges that Recording Academy general counsel Joel Katz harassed her, and further alleges that former CEO Neil Portnow was accused of raping an unnamed female artist after a concert at Carnegie Hall. Katz has categorically denied Dugan’s account. On Dec. 22, Dugan sent Shonda Grant, the academy’s head of HR, an email laying out her allegations, which she included in her filing. Two days later, Dugan’s attorney told the Academy she intended to pursue legal action. A month of negotiations followed, and Dugan says that she and the Academy had nearly reached a settlement when the Board abruptly backed out, offering her a much worse settlement with a one-hour deadline. When she turned it down, she was put on administrative leave. Slate

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Social media management company Buffer came out with its workplace culture predictions for 2020 recently. They include: The growth of conscious companies, as employees and customers want more from companies they work for and patronize; mental health conversations in the workplace, as the World Health Organization formally recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon; a more inclusive definition of remote work, which could lure remote workers to revitalize rural areas with dwindling populations; turning off from work by doing nothing to stave off digital overload; and the growth of inclusive family leave. Fast Company

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As the topic of diversity and inclusion has gained ever greater importance in the business world, Forbes not only added this vertical to its reporting coverage but, in 2018, partnered with market research firm Statista to create a list of the Best Employers for Diversity. The ranking was compiled by surveying 60,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees, and it features some notable shakeups: Google fell more than 150 spots amid the sexual misconduct woes besetting its leadership team and IBM, which has been battling age discrimination lawsuits, also took a dip, dropping from No. 217 to No. 237. Enterprise software giant SAP tops this year’s list with a score of 85.89, up eight spots from last year’s list. Judith Williams, head of people sustainability and chief diversity and inclusion officer at SAP, took over as the head of diversity and inclusion in September 2018. She has pushed for a data-driven approach that uses metrics to find inefficiencies and gaps, answer questions about SAP’s workforce demographics, track the progression of underrepresented groups through the company’s career pipeline, and build inclusion into SAP products. “My goal is to make inclusion the default option, so that it’s actually harder to exclude than it is to include.” Forbes

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