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Can businesses use “quiet firing” tactics?

Employees may be subjected to a tactic called “quiet firing” from their employers. In short, quiet firing is an attempt to push an employee out the door by making their workplace toxic or otherwise shutting them out. 

If an employee quits before an employer fires them, it can often benefit a business in that the owner does not have to pay unemployment or severance packages. Employers may not always realize that their actions may be violating employees’ rights. However, quiet firing may be seen as a form of wrongful termination. 

Here is what you should know:

Where does quiet firing come from?

The term “quiet firing” is mainly used by employees and not employers, and there has been a rise in the phrase’s use over the past several years. It is not entirely clear where the term quiet firing comes from. It is speculated that quiet firing is modeled off of quiet quitting, a practice used by employees who no longer feel they should go above and beyond at their place of work and instead will work the bare minimum while looking for new employment elsewhere. However, the practice of quiet firing has been in long use well before the term became popular. 

What are the signs of quiet firing? 

There are several signs that an employer is using quiet firing tactics. These signs include:

  • Impossible-to-complete workloads
  • Underworked 
  • Poor performance reviews
  • Exclusion from meetings
  • Changed roles

These signs are often done to overwhelm or undermine an employee’s abilities. An employee may feel excluded and unwanted in the workplace. Eventually, this could cause an employee to search for better work conditions. However, quiet firing can lead to legal issues. Legal guidance can help discuss the dangers of quiet firing.