February 23, 2009 / 2:38 AM / 10 years ago

Microsoft seeks refund from some laid off workers

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - An accounting error by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) has reportedly led the world’s largest software maker to notify some laid off employees last week that they would need to give back part of their severance pay.

The company laid off 1,400 workers last month, the first of 5,000 jobs Microsoft has said it plans to cut over the next 18 months.

The error is believed to have overpaid some former employees and underpaid others. Those that were overpaid were sent letters requesting them to refund the company by sending a check or money order.

“An inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft,” a letter obtained by the technology blog TechCrunch reads. “We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to you.”

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that the letter was authentic. The company has not disclosed how many former employees were affected or the total amount that was overpaid, calling the incident “a private matter between the company and the affected people.” (Reporting by Jasmin Melvin; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

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