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What are “quiet quitting” and “quiet firing”?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Employment Law

In the last few years, many people have been participating in trends called “quiet quitting” and “quiet firing”. These terms can seem confusing for people who hear them out of context. They are primarily used by employees and employers to explain a specific situation in the workplace. 

There are some difficulties in participating in these trends. Read below to learn more about quiet firing and quiet quitting: 

Doing the bare minimum 

Quiet quitting is a trend where employees do the bare minimum amount of work asked of them. Instead of going above and beyond by asking for more responsibilities and opportunities, employees are conserving energy by doing only what’s asked of their role. Quiet quitting is a counter-trend to “hustle culture.” This trend became popular during a time of civil unrest when many people were and still are not being paid well enough for the work they do. 

The issue with quiet quitting is that “at-will” employees may be fired for not doing more than they are asked. An employer may not be satisfied with the amount of work an employee is doing and terminate them as a response. This may be a lawful firing unless the termination was discriminatory. 

Causing an employee to quit a non-ideal workplace

Quiet firing is a trend used by employers. It is the act of making a workplace unsuitable for an employee with the intent of causing them to quit. An employer may quiet fire an employee by reducing their workload, giving them too much work, cutting their hours or removing them from important meetings, for example.

This may be done in a discriminatory behavior, but it is also done to save a company money by not having to pay an employee severance pay or unemployment.

Quiet firing and quiet quitting can have legal implications. It may help to reach out for legal guidance to discuss the effects of quiet quitting and quiet firing.

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