Ellen DeGeneres Show Implements Increased Benefits for Staffers Following Toxic Workplace Claims
Staff members at the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted talk show will receive birthdays off, five paid days off to use at their discretion and paid time for family matters and doctors appointments, Variety reports.
The new benefits, along with a personal address from DeGeneres to staff, are said to have improved morale this week, according to the outlet.
Warner Bros. has not commented after being reached by PEOPLE.
News of the recently implemented perks for staffers come more than a month after BuzzFeed News published a report in mid-July in which previous employees alleged there is a "toxic work environment" behind the scenes of the daytime talk show. One current and 10 former staffers spoke anonymously about their experiences on set, including claims of being penalized for taking medical leave, instances of racial microaggressions and fear of retribution for raising complaints.
Days after news broke that the show would undergo an internal investigation by WarnerMedia, DeGeneres, 62, sent a lengthy memo to staff, in which she said she is "glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention" and that they are "taking steps ... to correct" them.
"On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect," she began. "Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show."
DeGeneres added that she accepted responsibility and was "committed to ensuring this does not happen again."
Earlier this week, she further apologized to staff in a second apology, which came amid the exit of three of the show's top producers: Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman. The trio parted ways with the show following the internal investigation by WarnerMedia, a Warner Bros. spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE.
In an emotional video conference with staff on Monday, DeGeneres told staff she "wasn't perfect," a source who was on the call told PEOPLE.
"I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes,” the host told staffers.
“I’m hearing that some people felt that I wasn’t kind or too short with them, or too impatient. I apologize to anybody if I’ve hurt your feelings in any way," she said.
During the video conference, “Ellen was emotional, she was emphatic about making it better and making herself more available," another source told PEOPLE.
"She acknowledged she can be introverted at times and she apologized if that was ever seen as hurtful," the source said. "They’re putting in real structures and resources for people so this never happens again and that is extremely important to Ellen. She was emotional seeing everybody. They’re family."
A third source told PEOPLE that DeGeneres told staff that "she’s been dying to see them, that she couldn’t because of the investigation and she really wanted them to hear from her that this is a reset, things are changing and things are going to be better moving forward. And she’s committed to that."
As Glavin, Leman and Norman — who were accused of sexual misconduct by unnamed former employees in a BuzzFeed News report — part ways with the show, Stephen "tWitch" Boss has been promoted from DJ to co-executive producer, PEOPLE confirmed.
Leman and Norman have denied the allegations against them, while Glavin has not publicly addressed them.