Microsoft retracts initial severance offers

Fresh on the heels of a restructuring that will see up to 5,000 employees laid off, software giant Microsoft announced it botched the figures in the severance packages offered to some of the employees — and now it wants its money back. first broke the story here.  It reported that Microsoft sent letters to fired employees stating that they had been overpaid severance pay and requesting that they send back the overpayment via cheque or money order.

Microsoft has since retracted the retraction. That is, they have decided to allow the overpayments as a gesture of goodwill to the terminated employees.

Employees who have been laid off and/or offered a severance package should always have it reviewed by an employment lawyer.  As a condition of most packages, the employee must sign a release, preventing any further legal action.  Once the release is executed, it is generally too late for the employee to change his or mind and sue. 

Daniel A. Lublin is an Employment Lawyer specializing in the law of wrongful and constructive dismissal. He can be reached at [email protected]