Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Microsoft To Some Laid Off Workers: We Paid You Too Much Severance (Updated)

In what is being billed as an accounting error, Microsoft overpaid some laid off workers' severance amounts and underpaid others. Now they are asking in a letter to those receiving too much for the money back.

If this happened to me I'd be outraged. Pissed beyond recognition. I have no doubt this was an honest mistake and one that the company feels badly about. The letter posted at the link above is friendly; no threats of prosecution as far as I can see. I'd still be ready throw my Windows-powered home computer through my actual window.

That said, my feelings would stem from the fact that I just got laid off, not because I have any real belief that I can keep the money. If my understanding of how the severanace worked in this case is anywhere near accurate, there was an amount stipulated in the package agreement. If someone received a check for more than the amount in the agreement they're going to have to pay it back.

On the other other hand, depending on how much these over payments amounted to, it might be in Microsoft's best interest to write off the mistake. They won't do that though, because everybody who didn't get overpaid would scream bloody murder.

Update: It looks like Microsoft is going to let those people who received overpayments keep the money. Good for them. Thanks to Cheryl Lunzaga for the link.

(originally posted 2/23 @ 12:03 PM)

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