What is quiet firing?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Wrongful Termination

New York employers can generally take advantage of the state’s at-will employment laws to easily remove people they no longer need or want. However, this does not give them free rein to fire people for any reason.

The law prohibits employers from firing people for a few specific reasons – namely discrimination based on a protected characteristic such as gender or race or in retaliation for a protected activity such as whistleblowing.

While the law still permits employers to file someone who has blown the whistle or is of a protected class, it does not allow that to be the motivation for the termination.

Some employers might try to get around it by a means known as quiet firing. Rather than risk accusations of wrongful termination, they do things that quietly push the employee to quit, thereby saving the need to fire them.

Signs your employer may be encouraging you to quit

Tactics an employer might use to encourage you to leave include:

  • Isolating you: Few people will stick around in a place where they are clearly no longer welcome. If your employer invites everyone but you to after-work drinks, it might be intentional.
  • Allowing you to stagnate: If you never get the opportunities for promotion or training you deserve, you might decide to move to an employer that will give you them.
  • Testing your limits: If your employer doubles your workload, becomes openly more critical or blatantly ignores your attempts to speak in meetings, you may reach a point where you say enough is enough. 

Deciding whether your employer is trying to quiet fire you can be challenging. Seeking a professional opinion is wise, as is learning about your legal options if it appears to be true.


FindLaw Network