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Microsoft Asks Laid-Off Workers to Return Cash

An accounting error reportedly led Microsoft to notify some laid off employees last week that they would need to give back part of their severance pay.

The world's largest software maker laid off 1,400 workers last month, the first of 5,000 jobs the company plans to cut over the next 18 months.

The error is believed to have overpaid some former Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) employees and underpaid others. Those that were overpaid were sent letters requesting them to refund the company by sending a check or money order.

"An inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft," a letter obtained by the blog TechCrunch reads. "We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to you."

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that such letters were sent, but would not comment on how many former employees were affected or how much the total overpayment amounted to, according to CNN.