The pandemic has changed the American view on work for good. Hundreds of thousands of employees discovered that they can do their jobs perfectly well from home, broadening their employer pool significantly. Many other workers have realized how in-demand their in-person work really is. The combination is potent; around the country, people are resigning from their jobs in search of better work in a trend known as the “Great Resignation.”
The Great Resignation is a real movement, but it’s not particularly organized. If you’re considering joining the thousands of Americans leaving their companies for better conditions, you need to have a plan. Keep reading to discover the roots of the Great Resignation, what it means for workers, and how you can move on from stressful and unsafe working conditions the right way.
What Is the Great Resignation?
The American workforce has shrunk in the nearly two years since the beginning of the pandemic. There are many factors involved in this shrinkage. Some people died or became permanently disabled because of COVID-19. Others, primarily baby boomers, chose to retire early. Still others simply decided to drop out of the traditional workforce entirely to become stay-at-home parents, return to education, or simply wait out the pandemic.
This shrinking workforce has worked out in favor of the people who still work. At the beginning of 2020, economists were already predicting worker shortages. While the pandemic-induced recession initially delayed that shortage, it’s now come back in full force. Companies around the country are struggling to fill positions.
This is excellent news for anyone who’s looking for a new job. When companies struggle to find workers, they offer better incentives to bring in new staff. This can include higher wages, better benefits, friendlier hours, and more.
Even people who have stable employment have seen these improvements. Many businesses have focused so much on bringing in new workers that they have forgotten to increase compensation for their current staff. The result? Tens of thousands of Americans have or are planning on resigning from their current jobs to move to companies offering better salaries and conditions. This is the Great Resignation, and it’s changing how people like you approach employment from the ground up.
Why the Great Resignation Is So Important
The Great Resignation is more than just a wave of people quitting their jobs. It represents a fundamental shift in the mentality of working Americans. Instead of seeing a job as something they’re lucky to have and can’t leave, people have realized that their labor matters and has value.
It’s no coincidence that the movement comes at the same time as workers around the country returning to unionization to fight for their rights. Everyone who works for a living has realized that the status quo is no longer acceptable. The power has shifted, giving workers a fair shot at improving their conditions for the first time in decades.
This same shift in perspective is also opening people’s eyes to the unacceptable conditions of their current jobs. Not only are people resigning, but many are also suing their former employers for violating labor laws. The current demand for workers has given people the confidence to file these lawsuits without worrying about permanently losing employment.
These lawsuits are a critical part of holding employers accountable for their actions. With more workers trusting their ability to keep earning money even after burning a bridge, more people can fight against unsafe and unfair conditions. As these cases play out, it’s likely that working conditions nationwide will improve as businesses take steps to resolve or avoid lawsuits entirely.
How to Join the Great Resignation Safely
What does this mean for you? It means that there’s never been a better time to find a job that works for you. It also means that whether or not you want to quit, now’s the time to file claims against your employer if they’re violating your rights. Either way, here’s how to join the Great Resignation safely and improve your chances of a soft landing.
- Have a plan before you quit. While it’s tempting to simply yell “I quit!” in the middle of the workday, it’s not the safest choice. Before you submit your resignation, try to have a new job lined up. If you can’t wait that long, at least have several interviews waiting. This will help you avoid losing income and ensures that you won’t suffer when you leave.
- Talk to your fellow employees to find out if they have similar complaints. If you have complaints, your coworkers probably do too. Ask around to find out whether the issues are widespread. If enough people have the same problem, you may be able to file a class-action lawsuit, helping yourself and your colleagues at the same time.
- If you’re planning a lawsuit, collect evidence before you leave. If you want to sue your current employer, gather as much proof of their violations as possible before leaving the job. For instance, forward emails to your personal email, take pictures of altered schedules, or record instances of harassment. You won’t be able to personally gather this documentation after you leave, and you risk having it destroyed if you don’t collect it in advance.
Don’t Just Move On – Fight for Your Rights
If you’re in a bad work environment, you’re not alone. There’s no time like the present to hold your soon-to-be-former employer accountable for violating your rights. Even if you’re moving on to greener pastures, you still deserve damages for the ways your managers violated labor laws and harmed you.
The best way to get what you’re owed is to work with an expert employment lawyer. With the right lawyer, you can build your case and make sure your employer takes you seriously. It’s not just about you, either; an employment lawsuit can help protect current and future employees at your former workplace, too. Begin the process today by getting in touch with the team at the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C.