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Here's a more intriguing question. If you were terminated or let go from a job and received an overpayment in your severence package, would you return any overpayment? If asked? If not asked?
My answer (despite that I will always give back an overpayment if I've bought something) is that no I would not if not asked, and only if I had to and against much resistance if asked.
I'm not even sure why. I just think if I was working for a reasonably large employer and their last action to me was to screw up, I'd tell them sorry, I've already invested their overpayment in coke and ho okers.
I read your post and looked at the last line and wondered why you spelled ho ho's incorrectly (you know those cheap chocolate covered cakes with white air filling) and why you were eating them with with coke-cola instead of milk.
But, to answer you question, no I wouldn't give it back even if they asked and threatened. Agreed that if that was their last action with me perhaps it was the underlying reason I was let go - they couldn't afford me anymore because their accounting was so very bad.
Yes, I do see why it was spelled that way, but on first read ....
If on bad terms, I think it would depend on how they asked (if they don't ask, I certainly wouldn't volunteer), but I would probably fight it.
However, one thing to remember is that even if they screwed up, it's going to look bad to a future potential employer that you technically owe a past employer money.
I believe that at some point the US economy will recover. I'm also pretty confident that this large company will survive and at some point will be in hiring mode. I think I'd return the money and hope for a call back soon. In the mean time "Ho Ho's and a Coke" would not be in my budget.
Edit: especially today, I think a laid-off person needs the money more than the company.
[edited by: mcavic at 11:30 pm (utc) on Feb. 23, 2009]
So why try to be deceptive? They are most likely going to find out eventually and ask you for it. If you refuse, you'll be hit with a lawsuit. Just give it back from the beginning and save yourself the hassle.
If it came up and they wanted it back, I most likely would not make too much trouble about it. They would be due the money, could prove it, and who needs the fight. Maybe cut a deal. I don't have it (your firing me was kind of a problem), but can work something out and cut a payment deal where I could hold as much as possible as long as possible.
If it didn't come up I would keep it. The time before spending would depend upon the amount.
I know too many good people who have lost their jobs for no good reason, and too many other people that inexplicably are able to keep theirs, that it would be tough to just give it back.
If a bank dropped extra cash in one of my accounts I would get it cleaned up right away. Banks make tons of errors - tons. Is there a business that makes more mistakes? They will eventually find it and track it down. They have vast experience. Clean it up.
In the other thread I would do the right thing. In this case though I would just sit on it.
Same with me.
For all those people saying "it's not your money you must return it", I'm guessing you've never been made redundant. It's a lot different when you're there.
When some middle manager who's the son of someone high up the chain, and who does no work of his own at all, and takes credit for the work of others, and who is objectively speaking quite unintelligent and awkward with other people, and who is resented by pretty much the entire workforce, and whose only skill is being able to format a chart nicely in excel... when he puts your name on the "to go" list, well, you don't exactly feel like playing nice. Hypothetically speaking, of course.