CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Buzz words are spreading like wildfire in offices across the U.S.

Quiet quitting refers to workers who are no longer out in extra work at the office. Since the term has gone viral on social media, another word is making the wounds: Quiet firing.

“It happens,” Charlotte worker Zachary Bokulic said. “It definitely happens.”

Quiet firing is a new term naming a phenomenon that workers across Charlotte say has been happening for decades.

Quiet quitting: What is it and why has it caught on?

It does not mean workers are being fired; instead, employers are creating an atmosphere that staff no longer want to be a part of. Online, some refer to quiet firing as not getting a raise in a certain among of time, no promotions, or added responsibilities without any reward.

“Yeah, they are trying to push you out of the door because it is really the pay and making my job harder, having me stay extra hours and not offering really anything for me doing that,” South End worker Monique Mann said.

Like quiet quitting, the concept of quiet firing took off following a shift in mindset.

“I think that the pandemic and sort of the social-political space that we are at right now, many people have talked about it as a really intense collective trauma,” UNC-Charlotte Associate Professor of Psychology Sara Levens said.

She says the trauma has made the American workforce reflect on their work-life balance and feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences online.

“So, you can think of these expressions of quiet quitting and quiet firing as explicit communication to companies,” Levens said.

The topic has created a back-and-forth on sights like TikTok and LinkedIn.

Some say quiet firing responds to workers not going above and beyond.

To others, quiet firing is a lazy alternative to flat-out firing or working with the employees currently on staff.

“If you are a person of management or you are running a team,” Bokulic said. “I think you should be proactive and maybe explaining and instead of going the quiet firing route, walking them through, setting up a time with your employees as opposed of going the opposite and just quietly letting them essentially or not prioritizing them.”