What is Quiet Firing and How is it Different From The Trending Quiet Quitting?

Oct 6, 2022

As the topic of quiet quitting continues to be discussed in most workplaces and news outlets, we are also seeing a new phrase pop up: “quiet firing”.  Employees doing the bare minimum may be surprised to see themselves being slowly pushed out of important meetings – and maybe their job altogether.

Quiet quitting refers to meeting the requirements of your position, and that’s it. Employees sick of doing unpaid overtime and going above and beyond have been pushing back, and that has now been dubbed “quiet quitting”. Employees that think they have gotten away with dialing back their work and putting up boundaries around their hours may be in for a nasty surprise when this leads to quiet firing, and potentially real firing.

Quiet firing happens when employers demoralize workers so much that they decide to leave on their own. It may result in minimizing the importance and oversight of certain employees. While the job market currently seems to be in favour of employees, some employers may be looking to replace employees that are no longer willing to go above and beyond.

Many of these issues stem from uncertainties around overtime and unpaid work. Employees not seeing any overtime pay are now avoiding extra work altogether. While most employees are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over a certain threshold in Ontario, few actually receive it.   

Employers using quiet firing to push out less motivated employees may also be exposing themselves to constructive dismissal claims. Employers that unilaterally and suddenly remove significant responsibilities from employees, or reduce their pay, may be found to have breached the contract of employment, entitling the employee to severance and other damages.

If you have questions about quiet firing, unpaid wages or whether you (or your employees) are entitled to overtime, we encourage you to reach out to an experienced employment lawyer. Whitten & Lublin are here to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.

Author: Rachel Patten


 

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