Adding woes to the injuries of the individuals who lost their jobs in the wake of economic downturn, the software giant Microsoft has asserted that an accounting error had occurred when it recently laid-off a number of its employees, and some of them would be required to pay back some part of their severance pay.
The software maker laid-off as many as 1,400 employees last month, as a part of 5,000 job cuts that the company has announced during the next 18 months down the line.
The error has reportedly overpaid some of its ex-employees while underpaid others, and the employees who were overpaid were sent the letters requesting them to repay the firm by sending a money order or cheque.
“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”, a copy of the letter obtained by the technology blog TechCrunch reads.
The report was confirmed by a spokesperson from the company; however, the company didn’t disclose the total amount and the number of employees affected, by quoting the incident a “private matter” between the affected people and the company.
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The sums involved in this "administrative" cock up are unknown but it is unlikely to be very high. Microsoft as a gesture of goodwill (and a good PR exercise) would certainly be able to waive the amounts that its ex-employees have to give back. After all, they have been fired and Microsoft's demands would certainly add more pangs to their situations. Will Microsoft send in the debt collectors next?