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What is “quiet firing”?

Quiet firing is a passive-aggressive approach to performance management that can be difficult to detect. It occurs when an employer wants the employee to leave their position but wants to avoid paying the cost of unemployment that would come from termination.

The signs of quiet firing are often subtle and hard to recognize. Therefore, you need to know what to look for so you can take steps to protect yourself.

The legal implications of quiet firing

No one deserves to be treated unfairly at work, and employees must know their rights regarding quiet firing. By understanding what it is and how to recognize it, you can take steps toward protecting yourself in the workplace.

Here are some signs that you may be facing quietly firing:

  • Changes in performance goals without explanation
  • Limited or no feedback on job performance
  • Failure to offer promotions or raises despite a good record of job performance
  • Increased job duties or hours without adequate support or resources
  • Less communication or interaction with manager or co-workers
  • Diminished responsibilities or reduced workload without explanation
  • A sense of isolation or feeling like an outcast in the workplace
  • Suddenly being excluded from essential work projects or meetings

Managers may create a hostile work environment through unwarranted disciplinary action, micro-managing, or other unfair or humiliating treatment.

Employees should document any behaviors or activities about which they feel suspicious. Keeping a record of these activities can help validate an employee’s suspicions and provide evidence later if needed. 

When it comes to quietly firing, there are legal implications that both employees and employers should be aware of. If you feel that they have been unfairly targeted and pushed out of your job, you could pursue a lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of leaving the company.


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