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Is quiet firing legal?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | employee rights |

Have you ever felt out of the loop at work? Perhaps you often find yourself lacking critical information needed for a specific project or excluded from regular email threads and staff meetings with no explanation or reason.  

This unsettling and potentially traumatizing experience is called quiet firing, a strategy some employers use to encourage an employee to resign indirectly.  

What is quiet firing?  

Quiet firing, or in legal terms constructive discharge, is the method of termination where an employer creates a work environment so unpleasant that an employee feels they have no choice but to leave voluntarily.  

Instead of directly terminating the employee’s contract, an employer may make the worker feel like they are being pushed out of their job through a series of subtle adversarial behaviors, like giving them the cold shoulder, excluding them from projects or not providing feedback or opportunities for growth.  

What can you do if you were quietly fired?  

Forcing an employee to quit by subtly creating intolerable working conditions violates their rights and can cause significant harm to their career and mental well-being.  

To have a constructive discharge case in Pennsylvania, you must demonstrate that the workplace conditions were so severely adverse that any reasonable person would have felt obligated to quit. You must also prove that the intolerable conditions resulted from the employer’s action or inaction to force you to resign.  

Being in a situation where you feel undervalued or pushed out can significantly impact your mental and emotional well-being. If you believe you are being unfairly targeted at work, familiarizing yourself with your employment contract and labor laws in your area can help you negotiate or challenge any unfair treatment.  

It might also be wise to seek legal assistance to help you understand the complexities of employment law and protect your rights against wrongful termination.