Microsoft Does Right by Laid-Off Workers

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-02-23 Print this article Print

After initially asking for repayment of overpaid severance, Microsoft tells former employees who were laid off that they do not have to pony up individual amounts ranging from hundreds to $5,000 each.

Microsoft has taken a page out of the Spike Lee playbook and done the right thing.

The software giant has done an about-face on asking laid-off employees to pay back overpayments in severance made due to a clerical error on the company's part.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Microsoft's senior vice president of human resources, Lisa Brummel, said she "personally called 22 of the 25" people who had received notices that they would have to pay back the overpayments.

The former Microsoft employees affected were part of the group of 1,400 workers the company laid off in January.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Joseph Tartakoff interviewed Brummel, who said the overpayments "ranged from hundreds of dollars to $5,000 per employee."

According to the Post-Intelligencer, "I don't think it's worthy of us asking them to make that payment back to us," Brummel said.

In addition, the article said, "20 employees were underpaid severance, and Microsoft has now paid them what they were owed."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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