Employee's Reason for Only Completing 40 Percent of Work Tasks Applauded

A post about an employee who has decided to do less than half of their workload following a more than 50 percent pay cut has gone viral on Reddit, the online forum.

In a post shared on Reddit's Antiwork subforum, user treschanna asked: "What is a polite and professional way to explain to my employer that since they've decided to cut our salary by 60 percent, that I'll only be completing 40 percent of all assigned tasks from now on?"

The Reddit poster is certainly not alone in feeling less motivated at work and wanting to take a giant leap back in the effort they put in.

A survey by the Gallup research firm found that in 2022, 18 percent of workers in the U.S. were "actively disengaged" or "loud quitters," as opposed to simply being "not engaged" or a "quiet quitter."

Office worker sleeping, with feet on desk.
A stock image of an office worker man with his eyes close and feet up on a desk near a laptop. In 2022 survey by the Gallup research firm found that 18 percent of workers in the U.S. were “actively disengaged” or “loud quitters." iStock / Getty Images Plus

A February 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center found that more than half (63 percent) of workers who quit their job in 2021 cited low pay as the reason for it and 37 percent said this was a "major reason" why they quit.

Other major reasons for quitting included feeling disrespected at work (35 percent), benefits not being good (23 percent) and working long hours (20 percent), according to the survey.

The user in the latest Reddit post said: "My employers have decided that since we're transitioning into a new company, they deserve raises since they'll be doing twice the amount of work. I work for a pretty small non-profit, having said that ALL OF US have had to do twice the amount of work we signed on for. I'm only contracted to work 40 hours of work a week, but recently I've had to work 60 hours a week and have even been called in for work ON MY DAYS OFF.

"But in spite of all of that, my employer has announced that the rest of us will be losing vision and dental benefits and be required to pay for health insurance out of pocket. Oh, and because we need to save money for the new company, the rest of us will be getting pay cuts."

Scott Lieberman, the founder of TouchdownMoney.com, a website providing advice on how to make money online, told Newsweek that the Reddit poster needs to "contact an employee rights lawyer immediately."

Lieberman said the poster's employer may be implementing a tactic known as "constructive dismissal," which is when "the company is creating a hostile work environment to trick the employee into resigning."

USA.gov advises those who feel they've been "wrongfully fired from a job or let go from an employment situation" should look into the laws around wrongful termination or wrongful discharge, which vary by state.

The website explains: "Some states are 'employment-at-will' states, which means that if there is no employment contract (or collective bargaining agreement), an employer can let an employee go for any reason, or no reason, with or without notice, as long as the discharge does not violate a law."

Lieberman said the user in the latest Reddit post "should NOT quit," because "if terminated, the worker may be eligible for unemployment benefits."

Additionally, the employer may also owe the poster "employee compensation for unused paid time off and may need to offer COBRA [Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act] health benefits."

Officer worker staring into distance at desk.
A stock image of a female office worker staring into the distance while sitting at a desk with a computer. More than half (63 percent) of workers who quit their job in 2021 cited low pay as the reason for it and 37 percent said this was a “major reason” why they quit, according to a February 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Lieberman advised the poster should look for employment elsewhere and once they have a job offer in writing, "they can give their current employer the opportunity to match it."

If they don't match it, "it could be time for the employee to give their services to a company that values them," he said.

Marketing/investment expert Rudy Mawer, of Mawer Capital, told Newsweek that the way the user in the latest Reddit post is approaching the situation is "not the best way to handle this although it is easy to lean into emotion and therefore be reactive."

He said the company has "the legal right to cut the pay," so the poster's "shift in attitude and results could lead to them being fired."

Mawer explained that typically with company mergers, new positions become available at higher rates and other opportunities within the company/department are made once the transition is settled. "This would leave a chance for the employee to possibly get a higher paying position within this new combined company," he said.

But if there are no new positions opening, the worker can always "look into possible union options," Mawer said. "The only way they could get their pay up is to compare their salary to others salaries in the industry in the local area. If they choose to take a legal route, this would be quality data to present."

The post received over 11,500 upvotes and several users on Reddit shared messages of support for the original poster, advising the user to look for another job.

In a comment that got 9,500 upvotes, user EbbMuted242 said: "Never tell your employer you're doing less work. The rest of the comments have it right, look for new employment. And do minimal work in the interim."

User muxman: "Exactly what I came here to say. You don't ever announce what you're doing to your employer, you just do it. Chances are it will take them a long time to even figure it out, if they ever do. While you're making the job better for yourself to cope with their crap, you look for a better job."

In a comment that got 1,600 upvotes, user AMonkeyAndALavaLamp said: "Never be available from the second you clock out until the second you clock back in."

User positive_energy- said: "This is the reason it is called 'Working your Wage.' It's not quiet quitting. It's showing the company what you are worth. If they want the extra work, they have to pay for it. Keep in mind they may fire you..."

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.

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