Microsoft Corp sent 1,400 collection letters out to employees hoping they would return overpayments in their severance pay. Former employees received the letter which gave them 14 days to refund portions of their severance payments. It has become a real embarrassing public relations matter for the world’s largest software maker which has a problem accounting for payroll.
“This letter is to inform you that an inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft,” the letter said. ”
As it turns out, the Microsoft accounting department overpaid their severance to former employees who were laid off last month. A former employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she has been with Microsoft for two years, and it was the first time she ever had a run-in with the accounting department.
Microsoft former employee says she didn’t know about the overpayments until the letter was received.
“I didn’t keep track of my direct deposits, so I never knew there was a problem until I received the letter,” she said.
Several blogs on the Web are having a field day by asking if Microsoft Windows Vista was the culprit. Another Web user posted “I bet it was the latest Microsoft Excel upgrade!” While it is unknown if it was Vista or Excel, you can bet that the humor about the payroll error will be around for a long time.
When asked if the former Microsoft employee will return the money, she said “Yes. It’s not mine to keep.”
Some workers will not return the overpayments. They feel that it’s the fault of the company, and they need the extra severance to survive.
However, most of the former workers don’t see it that way. They feel that it’s a Microsoft mistake, and therefore, they will not pay it back. Other workers are just down on their luck, out of work, and need the cash to survive.
Microsoft employees are only some of the thousands of workers who were laid off due to the economic crises. The downward economy is affecting the technology and retail sectors the most.
While many technology jobs are being cut, AT&T did something amazing last month. They brought back 5,000 jobs to the United States by canceling some of their contracts for customer service that was handled overseas. The company will employ new customer service representatives in three states.