Microsoft has backpedaled on their earlier idea of asking employees who accidentally received too much severance pay to give it back.

Over the weekend, Microsoft said that it had accidentally overpaid severance to several ex-employees and underpaid others.  At the time, the company didn’t reveal how much money was involved.

Rather than bother with a lengthy explanation, the company sent the workers who were overpaid a letter saying they needed to repay the excess money.

Yesterday, Microsoft H.R. chief Lisa Brummel said they had changed their minds.

“I thought it didn’t make sense for us to continue on the path we were on,” she said. Twenty-five workers were overpaid and about 20 underpaid, Microsoft said.

Brummel said she has spoken or left messages to most of those affected.

Brummel said those who were overpaid got an extra $4,000 or $5,000, on average.

Later on Monday Microsoft issued the following statement about the matter:

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.

Hmm, letting the employees keep the money is a great idea, in fact, I feel like I’ve heard it somewhere else before.

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