Can You Face Termination or Disciplinary Action for Quiet Quitting in Tennessee?

Quiet quitting is a term that has gained popularity on social media platforms like TikTok. This refers to the act of resigning from your job without giving any notice to your employer or expressing any dissatisfaction with your work conditions.

You may be wondering why someone would do this and what are the legal implications of such an action. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of quiet quitting, its causes and consequences, and how it relates to wrongful termination laws in Tennessee.

What is Quiet Quitting and Why Do People Do It?


Quiet quitting is a form of passive-aggressive behavior that some employees resort to when they are unhappy with their job but do not want to confront their employer or risk retaliation. Some of the reasons why people may choose to quietly quit their job include:

  • Feeling overworked, underpaid, or unappreciated
  • Having a toxic work environment or a difficult boss
  • Facing discrimination, harassment, or bullying
  • Having personal or family issues that affect their work performance
  • Seeking better opportunities elsewhere

Quiet quitting can be seen as a way of avoiding conflict and protecting oneself from potential legal action. However, it can also have negative consequences for both the employee and the employer.

What are the Consequences of Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting can have serious repercussions for both parties involved. For the employee, quiet quitting can:

  • Damage their professional reputation and credibility
  • Make it harder to find future employment or get positive references
  • Cause them to lose out on benefits, severance pay, or unemployment compensation
  • Breach their employment contract if they have one that requires a notice period
  • Expose them to legal action if they cause harm or loss to the employer

For the employer, quiet quitting can:

  • Disrupt the workflow and productivity of the organization
  • Increase the costs of hiring and training new employees
  • Affect the morale and engagement of other employees
  • Damage their brand image and customer satisfaction
  • Lead to potential lawsuits if they are accused of wrongful termination

But what are the legal implications of quiet quitting? Can you be fired or subject to discipline for quietly quitting your job? And what are your options if you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated or mistreated by your employer? Do you need to hire a wrongful termination attorney for your case?

What Is Wrongful Termination?


An employee who has been fired for unlawful grounds has suffered a “wrongful termination,” a phrase used in the legal system. Most workers in Tennessee are classified as “at will”, which means they may be dismissed at any moment for any reason or none at all, as provided that it’s not discriminatory, vindictive, or in violation of a contract.

However, there are some exceptions to the atwill rule. For example, you may have a wrongful termination case if you were fired for:

  1. Reporting illegal activity or whistleblowing
  2. Refusing to perform an illegal act
  3. Exercising your rights under federal or state laws (such as FMLA, ADA, OSHA, etc.)
  4. Participating in union activities
  5. Being a member of a protected class (such as race, sex, age, religion, disability, etc.)
  6. Filing a workers’ compensation claim

If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, you may be able to file a lawsuit and seek damages such as back pay, front pay, reinstatement, emotional distress compensation, punitive damages (in some cases), and attorney fees.

How Can You Protect Yourself from Unfair Treatment?

If you are unhappy with your current job situation but do not want to quit outrightly yet, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from unfair treatment by your employer:

  1. Document everything ─ Keep records of any incidents that show discrimination, retaliation, harassment, unsafe working conditions, breach of contract, etc. This may include emails, memos, performance reviews, pay stubs, etc.
  2. Know your rights ─ Familiarize yourself with the federal and state laws that protect employees from wrongful termination and other violations. You can also consult with an employment attorney if you have any questions or concerns.
  3. Communicate effectively ─ Try to resolve any issues or conflicts with your employer amicably and professionally. Express your needs and expectations clearly and respectfully. Avoid making accusations or threats.
  4. Seek help ─ If you feel that you are being mistreated by your employer, do not suffer in silence. Seek help from someone who can support you, such as a coworker, a friend, a family member, a counselor, etc. You can also contact an employment lawyer if you need legal advice or representation.

Do You Need to Hire a Wrongful Termination Attorney for Your Case After Quiet Quitting?


If you have been wrongfully terminated from your job and are considering taking legal action against your former employer, it is important to consider whether hiring a wrongful termination attorney is the right decision for you. A wrongful termination attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can provide guidance on how to proceed with your case. They can also represent you in court and help you negotiate a settlement or fight for compensation.

However, hiring an attorney is not always necessary. In some cases, you may be able to resolve the issue through mediation or negotiation with your former employer. It is important to carefully weigh the potential benefits and costs of hiring an attorney before making a decision.

Ultimately, the decision to hire a wrongful termination attorney will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. If you are unsure about whether hiring an attorney is the right choice for you, it may be helpful to consult with one for advice.


Quiet quitting is a phenomenon that reflects the changing attitudes and expectations of workers in today’s economy. However, it is not without risks and challenges. If you are thinking about quietly quitting your job, make sure that you understand the legal implications and consequences involved. And if you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated or subjected to discipline for quiet quitting, contact an experienced Tennessee employment attorney who can help you protect your rights and interests.