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 September 16, 2021

“I Quit”: Why Are Americans Quitting Their Jobs and How Do Employment Rights Take a Part in This?

Office employees sitting, talking, and packing

Over the past several months, millions have decided to quit their jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 4 million Americans quit their job in July. This trend is nothing new – these numbers started soaring over the spring and have been consistent over the past several months.

Why are so many people abandoning ship? How is this affecting the workforce and company morale? What are employee and employer rights when it comes to common pandemic-related questions? Let’s break it down.

What’s causing the mass exodus in the American workforce?

There are several factors in play when it comes to why people are leaving. First, people everywhere are experiencing shock, which can affect us more than we realize. Usually, shock in our life occurs individually and feels like sporadic waves that prompt us to self-reflect.

COVID-19, however, caused a tsunami-like type of shock for everyone in multiple ways. Many are pausing to ask themselves questions like:

  • Am I getting what I want out of this job?
  • Do I still like where this job is located? Should I move cities?
  • (If returning to the workplace) Is this job worth risking my health?
  • Am I allowed to work from home? Do I want to work from home?
  • Do I agree with the current COVID-19 protection policies?

If the answer is “No,” many people are opting to relocate from their current big cities and return to their hometowns or another smaller city. That’s where employee and employer rights come into question and can cause tension.

What are employee and employer rights regarding pay and relocation?

As people’s wants and needs change, many questions pop up that are forcing strain on employer and employee relationships. Let’s look at some important questions both employers and employees are asking regarding their rights and the effects of their decisions.

Do employees have the right to relocate?

Whether the employee can move cities is up to the employer, and this question can be a driving force in increased friction between employers and employees. On one side, employers hope that COVID-19 will be over soon and don’t want to necessarily grant everyone permission to move cities when they eventually want to restore workplace culture to an in-person environment once the pandemic is over.

On the other hand, many employees realize they don’t want to be away from their loved ones during the next pandemic and are moving back to their hometowns. If their employer says “No” to being fully remote from another city, employees are walking out and finding another company that will allow them to work remotely.

Do employers have the right to adjust an employee’s salary after they relocate?

While employers have the right to adjust your salary based on the cost of living in the region you relocated to, companies are learning it can alienate teams. Employees question why their value is based on where they live. However, it can be a struggle for employers to keep everyone’s salary the same while finances may be taking a hit in the wake of the pandemic.

The conflict within the workplace has only increased as so many employees leave. This can cause a domino effect where more follow after one departs. Many companies have experienced a negative shift in morale, which makes the day-to-day work environment less and less motivating.

Talk to your LegalShield provider lawyer to discuss your employee or employer rights.

Employee and employer rights can get blurry in a time when things are uncertain. The world is still in a fragile state, and more and more are working from home. If you have questions on your employee or employer rights during COVID-19, go on your LegalShield app and contact your dedicated provider lawyer.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield members through membership-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. If you are a LegalShield member, please contact your provider law firm for legal advice or assistance.


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