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Yes, this diary goes out to the people who thought that the former employees Microsoft claimed were overpaid in their severance were "stealing" if they didn't return the money. Judging from my poll results in yesterday's diary that represents about 1 self-righteous reader in 6.

Okay, okay, the plurality, 42%, of you were spot on with your assessment that Microsoft would backtrack on this as soon as the backlash hit the media.

So here are the numbers:
$4,000-$5,000 : Average Overpayment
1,400 : Number of workers laid off
608 : Number of stories on this topic in the past day according to Google News
25 : Workers overpaid
20 : Workers underpaid

Microsoft's official statement:

Last week, 25 former Microsoft employees were informed that they were overpaid as a part of their severance payments from the company. This was a mistake on our part. We should have handled this situation in a more thoughtful manner. We are reaching out to those impacted to relay that we will not seek any payment from those individuals.

Microsoft human resources chief Lisa Brummel told cNet:

I thought it didn't make sense for us to continue on the path we were on.

I have called now 22 out of the 25 impacted employees, only because I haven't had time to get to the three but I will after we hang up.

In general it makes sense for a company to recover money if it makes an accounting error, but this situation is an extraordinary one.

Microsoft overpaid me at one point. It actually happened to me and I wrote the company a check. It may have happened to others.

Originally posted to http://www.NuecesDemocrats.org on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 09:56 PM PST.

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