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Year-end bonus season is coming — but there’s a catch

Bonus season is coming, but early returns show the checks will likely be smaller than a year ago — at least for many workers. That’s according to new data from benefits and payroll provider Gusto Inc., which found the average bonus doled out in November 2022 was about 8% smaller than a year ago. The average November 2021 bonus was $208, compared to $191 in November 2022 — as many industries are looking for ways to cut costs due to potential economic headwinds. Some industries bucked the trend of shrinking bonuses, according to Gusto Economist Luke Pardue. Workers in goods-producing and logistics businesses saw their average bonus increase 7.1%. In personal services, bonuses stayed largely flat, growing about 0.1% and sticking around $108.

$100M gift to expand Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies into multidisciplinary research hub

A gift of $100 million from philanthropists James and Morag Anderson to Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe campus in Bologna, Italy will create new opportunities for students and faculty from throughout Europe and worldwide to address the multifaceted challenges of a rapidly changing world, Hopkins officials announced Friday. The gift will allow Johns Hopkins to expand its SAIS Europe campus in Bologna into an international hub for research and collaboration, bringing together leading academics and practitioners around the world to train the next generation of international experts, offer multidisciplinary solutions to global problems, facilitate scientific and technological research on public policies, and work towards peace and democratic development.

How workers are hedging their bets ahead of a potential recession

A majority of U.S. adults are anticipating a recession in the next year — and many are trying to hedge their bets with a second job. That’s according to a new American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor online survey conducted by The Harris Poll, which found 77% of adults believe the U.S. economy is either on the road to a recession in the next 12 months or is already there. Among other findings, the survey found 72% of Gen Z respondents say they are likely to pick up a second job or side hustle to earn extra income. Overall, about 20% of respondents said they were very likely to look for a second job, including about 68% of those making under $50,000 per year. Experts have said the dynamic could help make it easier for employers to find talent — especially those willing to be flexible by hiring part-time or seasonal workers.

United Therapeutics Named One of America’s Most Responsible Companies

The award is presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., a world-leading statistics portal and provider of industry rankings. A list of the 500 most responsible companies in the United States, spanning 14 industries, was announced Wednesday and can be found on the Newsweek website. United Therapeutics is ranked #180 overall, the company is ranked #21 in the Health Care & Life Sciences industry.

Expanding offshore wind power would have ‘multitude of benefits’ for Md., report suggests

A new report is laying out the economic and environmental benefits of expanding offshore wind energy production in Maryland — before a single wind turbine has been placed in the Atlantic off the coast of Ocean City. The report, commissioned by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and released Thursday, found that expanding the offshore wind industry in Maryland will provide “a multitude of benefits” over the next several years, including $5 billion in savings to electricity ratepayers and myriad environmental and public health advantages, according to Isaac Gabel Frank, the author of the study.

Apple will begin negotiations with union workers at Towson store

Towson Apple store workers, who became the first of the tech giant’s U.S. employees to unionize, will start contract negotiations with the company next month. Employees at the Towson Town Center store voted 65-33 in June to join the Washington-based International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers through a newly formed Coalition of Organized Retail Employees. The union on Thursday said negotiating committee members will start contract talks with Apple management Jan. 11 and continue on several dates through Feb. 2. The union and the company agreed to set dates that would not interfere with the holiday shopping season.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Towson University taps provost to be interim president

Towson University has tapped its provost, Melanie Perreault, to be the school’s interim president in the wake of Kim Schatzel’s departure. Schatzel, who has been TU’s president since 2016, announced last month that she was leaving to be president of the University of Louisville. Perreault, who also served as the university’s chief academic officer since 2019, will begin her interim role Feb. 1, the same day that Schatzel starts as the 19th president at Louisville.

FTC sues to block Microsoft-Activision Blizzard $69B merger

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued to block Microsoft’s planned $69 billion takeover of video game company Activision Blizzard, saying it could suppress competitors to Microsoft’s Xbox game console and its growing games subscription business. The FTC’s challenge could be a test case for President Joe Biden’s mandate to scrutinize big tech mergers. The commission voted 3-1 to issue the complaint after a closed-door meeting, with the three Democratic commissioners voting in favor and the sole Republican voting against.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Maryland labor department settles lawsuit over unemployment payments, agrees to make changes

The state labor department will have to refund some unemployment claimants who were forced to repay benefits they were overpaid during the pandemic, according to a settlement agreement effective Wednesday. The agreement ends a federal class action lawsuit filed against Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson in November 2021. Lawyers for six Marylanders, who say the agency mishandled their unemployment claims during the pandemic, filed the suit on behalf of tens of thousands who struggled to get their benefits.

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Md. puts off awarding controversial airport concessions contract — but not before current vendor sues

The Maryland Aviation Administration has halted the process of awarding a lucrative contract to manage the expansive concessions operations at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. The MAA, which runs the airport, issued a terse, one-paragraph notice to bidders late Friday afternoon informing them of the decision, but providing few details. “In light of legal concerns raised by the Office of the Attorney General, the Maryland Department of Transportation is seeking additional clarification about the Maryland Aviation Administration’s solicitation for a new concessionaire,” the notice said. “The contract will not be scheduled for the Board of Public Works at this time.”

Read More: WTOP

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