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back to article Microsoft U-turns on overpaid redundo packages

Microsoft has reversed its decision to ask some of the 1,400 people it sacked last month to return part of their redundancy packages. The move comes just 48 hours after a letter the firm had sent out to some of its former workers was published on the interwebs. The vendor had asked some ex-Microsoft staff on 18 February to …

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What about the underpayment overpayment?

Will the people underpaid get the overpayment too?!

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HR bullshit

But Microsoft no longer wants the money back because “people noticed we were being a bunch of c***s,” its human resources boss, Lisa Brummel, should have told CNET yesterday.

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Gates Horns

Let me be the first to say...

HAHA!

In all seriousness this is just yet another example of how Mickeysoft has gotten far too large for it's own good. Left-hand vs right-hand so to speak.

I'm not surprised they backed down on this though as they have enough bad publicity as it is.

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Gates Horns

Translation.

“it didn’t make sense for us to continue on the path we were on,”

Actually means:

"We've spoken to our legal department and it's going to cost a shitload more in legal fees to get it back than it's worth."

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Gates Horns

On the other hand

They've now shown themselves to be magnanimous and gracious , with a human side that is at odds with the moneygrabbing image they may have had in some circles.

I think that on balance, most people who are aware of this issue will now have a more positive image of Microsoft than before this episode started - a PR message well worth $125 grand by anybody's standards.

Hmm - one wonders if this might have all been a setup by some abominably crafty PR agency all along....

</cynic>

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Go

At long last....

Finally some sense! Doubt it'll last that long though.....

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Linux

small snowstorm of bad publicity

Com'on this is Redmond, when was the last time they actually had good publicity in any manner.

When the do actually perform something that may look like a good deed there is an underhanded motive involved.

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Gates Horns

The phrase 'cost -effective' comes to mind.

In that trying to get that money back may be the right thing to do on the face of it, but the consequences of doing so will make MS look really bad/far worse.

Makes MS look far form competent.

Didn't realise that it was such a small amount though.

ttfn

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Cost $125,00 now...

But that's less than the total wage bill for these employees for the year I would imagine?

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cheaper than legal fees

and what price tag on face saving?

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Tim
Gates Horns

M$ $hoot$ $elf in foot.

How very microsoft to completely fail in the common sense department. Seems to be the norm these days.....

Make MASSIVE profits

COMPLAIN that these profits are SLIGHTLY less than they were last year

SACK HUNDREDS of staff, who get paid the LEAST in the company

COCK UP their redundancy payments because you have SACKED THE MOST CAPABLE payrol clerk

ASK FOR THEIR OWN ERROR TO BE CORRECTED BY THE AFFLICTED

U-TURN when gets bad press

KEEP THEIR OWN JOBS DESPITE BEING INCOMPETANT!

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Paris Hilton

It woulda cost more to get it back

MS lawyers don't work cheap.

Paris, 'cause she's easy but she's not cheap.

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Gates Horns

Hahahaha

They seriously wanted it back in the first place? Can you imagine anyone saying anything except "You just fired my ass. You want money back? Fsck off and die."?

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Tim
Gates Horns

Pardon my BA$IC error.....

I of course meant to say.... Make EVEN MORE profit than last year......

Schoolboy error!

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Anonymous Coward

What about those who didn't get the extra payout..?

Will MS be as nice as they're pretending they are by increasing the payouts for those who weren't originally affected by their fuck-up? Do those who were underpaid get the missing part plus the $5K fuck-up bonus too as compensation?

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Money found from the petty cash budget for next SPSA bonanza

Oh, it's not called a 'Shared Performance Stock Award' anymore, is it? It's an 'Executive Officer Incentive Plan'. This is important, because - like investment bankers - Executives at Microsoft need incentives, lest they suddenly decide to go off and do something less destructive with their time. Anyway, renaming something, every few years, is just like inventing something completely new, isn't it?

I'm sure those redundant staff will be more than gratified to know that Brummel, herself, will probably be among the selected 900 top executives who are rumoured to be getting a share in a collective $1.2 billion dollars feeding-frenzy, this year, as a reflection of their continued outstanding performance on Vista, Live Search, and (in the case of Brummel's department) severance pay.

They will also be glad to know that the maximum bonus, payable to any one of those 900 people, will be a meagre $20,000,000... and that the over-payment, that they recieved, while feelling the door slap them on the ass, on their way out, last month, can probably be funded out of an unforseen administrative blunder, which led to a surplus in the After-Party drinks budget.

"Sorry, Bob, you've got to go. I looked at the figures, and it was either you, or the new Camaro... and, well, you know how the American car industry is struggling, these days?"

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Gates Halo

More like

No-one agreed to give them the money back so rather than admit defeat M$ just claim that they've had a change of heart and want them to keep it. That's all, it was entirely their idea. Next we'll hear that the overpayment was intentional but someone in HR hadn't been told about it and raised all this commotion.

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Pirate

Compromise agreement

I've no idea what the US system is like, but IME a compromise agreement is final. If they cock-up and offer too much, and you sign the deal and they do, you are then entitled to the money. I have experienced being made redundant by a large US company (good guys not M$) and they appeared not to bother with converting dollars to sterling, how I laughed.

Of course if they paid an amount different from the compromise agreement, that's a banking error, but nontheless they rightly face a legal battle to get it back, especially as compromise agreements contain the promise not to bother each other again once the cash is paid!

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RW
Unhappy

Ethics. morality, and common sense in business

Funny, isn't it?, how often some brain-dead corporation does something really stupid, then backs down when the light of publicity shines on their actions.

It's been obvious for years that rising to power in the corporate world demands abandonment of the most basic principles of fairness, ethics, morals, and gumption. You have to be a sociopath to make the grade now.

Since senior managers are pretty much all sociopaths, I'll suggest to the managers reading a way of avoiding ethical pitfalls (even though you don't really understand): ask yourself, "what will the world at large say when this hits the front page of the newspapers?"

Or else make sure you have one non-sociopathic friend you can ask "how will this look when publicized?"

Disgusting, dishonest people, one and all. Does any corporation subject their staff to careful psychiatric evaluation before promoting them to positions of power? And, yes, that includes long-time higher ups like Ballmer.

Microsoft deserves not one iota of praise for reversing this particular decision, btw. They did it for the wrong reason (money) instead of the right reason (fairness).

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Stop

I for one...

Am continuously amazed by how anyone is moved to post such vitriol and spite. I seriously hope their seemingly inconsolable rage is exaggerated by the emotionless context that characterise comments postings.

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How big was the full payment?

So I've now read the overpayment was about $5000. How much was the total? Was it $5000 over on a $10000 payment, or $5000 over on a $100,000 payment? I guess it doesn't matter, Microsoft did the right thing (once they realized the bad PR they were going to get at least...), but I am wondering anyway.

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Legal fees??

Um, you do realise that if you refuse to pay back what has been shown to be an accidental overpayment, certainly in the UK, you will be the one up in court defending yourself? As you are legally obliged to pay back an overpayment that was caused by administrative error. It's the same law that states that once a timesheet is authorised and processed, unless there is clear evidence of fraud involved, then it's damned near impossible for your employer to claim the money back - you must be paid for authorised hours worked.

I very much doubt that it's any different in the US.

I refer again to my 'small company' example - if you are made redundant from a local IT shop, and they pay you £15,000 instead of £1500 redundancy, do you *really* think you can just walk away from that scot free?

I do try to keep an open mind on peoples levels if intellect, but if you think you can just walk off with an overpayment when you have been told that it was an accident and requires repaying, then you really are staggeringly stupid.

Minor kudos to MS for this, seeing as the redundancies seem, at best, over-zealous for a company making such stupendous profits.

Steven R

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Coat

Everybody's missing the point here...

...I bet the department was using Microsoft products in determining the payments... serve 'em right!

Mine's the one with the fire extinguisher in the pocket...

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Flame

Dear tom tom

we are raising the royalty payments we are suing you for by $125, 000 due to your delay.

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