Microsoft on over-paid severance package: ‘Just kidding; keep the money’


Microsoft Corp. will let about two dozen laid-off workers who were overpaid severance keep the money, the company’s head of human resources said Monday afternoon. The decision was a quick turn-about for the company, which last week sent letters to some of the 1,400 employees who were laid off in late January, asking them to return some of their severance because of an “administrative error.”

Most of the overpayments were in the $4,000 to $5,000 range … Microsoft overpaid between $100,000 and $125,000. An additional 20 former employees were initially underpaid, but have since been paid what they were owed.more

Bobbie Johnson adds:

Microsoft said that it had mishandled the affair and would no longer be chasing repayment … The gaffe came after 1,400 workers were given their marching orders in January – the first major job cuts in Microsoft’s long history, and part of the software titan’s plan to reduce its staffing levels by 5,000 posts next year. Most employees affected were given a 12-week severance package as part of the deal.

However, news that the company was asking for the excess cash to be returned spread across the internet last weekend, after one letter demanding repayment was published online.

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