Imagine this: A company tells some of its former employees, “We put too much in your severance check. Please give the extra amount back.”
It really happened. And it wasn’t just any employer — it was Microsoft.
The software giant attempted to recoup some severance money from 25 recently fired workers it mistakenly overpaid.
The employees received a letter which said, “This letter is to inform you that an inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft. We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to you.”
There’s no word on the amount of the overpayments.
On second thought …
A scanned copy of such a letter first appeared on the Web site TechCrunch. After that — well, you know how things spread on the Web.
Shortly thereafter, Microsoft announced it had made a mistake.
“We should have handled this situation in a more thoughtful manner,” an e-mailed statement said. Microsoft “will not seek any payment from those individuals.”
Microsoft had laid off a total of 1,400 employees, the first of 5,000 planned layoffs.
As usual with these types of stories, Microsoft has refused to give any more details — so that’s all there is.
But, we’ll pose some questions anyway: Was it correct for Microsoft to ask for the overpayments back in the first place? Would it matter if the amounts were $10, $100 or $1,000? Let us know in the Comments Box below.