Microsoft U-Turns on Severance Clawback

Company tells laid-off workers they can keep severance overpayments after all
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2009 3:26 AM CST
The workers affected by the Microsoft decision are among 5,000 losing their jobs in the firm's first-ever mass layoffs.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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(Newser) – Microsoft is moving to stem a flood of bad publicity by letting laid-off workers who accidentally got too much severance pay keep the extra cash, TechCrunch reports. The workers, who lost their jobs last month in Microsoft's first-ever mass layoffs, contacted news media after receiving letters from the company asking them to return some of their severance payments.

"This was a mistake on our part," a statement from the company said. “We should have handled this situation in a more thoughtful manner." Microsoft's HR chief said she was personally calling the 25 workers affected, who received an average of about $4,000 or $5,000 in extra pay, and that 20 others who had been underpaid would be reimbursed immediately.