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My colleagues and I are very dissatisfied with our pay as software developers, we at first talked about quiet quitting, we quiet quit, but as of later they have been trying to force us to do overtime, deduct pay when you occasionally show up 15 min late, don't pay overtime (it's a stupid norm in my country and no one says anything, so it's not my problem here).

We have to give a 2 weeks notice before quitting, so we have been talking about waiting for a colossal project to then, all at the same time, put in our resignation papers and leave the project barely started, which would have the company scrambling to find programmers in short notice and hey would miss all the time marks. Which for this company (smaller company) is most likely going to be bankruptcy.

Of course, we know this is "Morally Wrong" (They are people too, everyone deserves empathy) but they still make our life hell, I think we will follow through with it.

We just got a project, what are your suggestions ?DO we let the company burn, or burn ourselves ? Pay raise seems to be not an option from the talks about needing to make cuts.

What DO I do in my situation, where I am underappreciated, underpaid, overworked and unhappy? What legal action can I take ?

Edit:We didn't accept this conditions, after covid hit there was a general "Cut" in salaries to keep the company afloat, and there were promised raises in the next year, when next year came we got told the costumers weren't happy with our work etc. (which was false as we talk with costumers every day and develop based on their feedback) and that we didn't "deserve" a raise, I think this was a lie because we earned that salary before covid.

Update : We contacted a lawyer and are going to turn our resignation a couple of hours before the client accepts the budget all problems that the company goes through aren't our business from then on (it's legal because we aren't causing damage, the business will lose an opportunity and no money, god I love lawyers)

Update 2: For anyone interested, 2 out of the 3 of us left for a competitor, and the 1 that remained is waiting for his bonuses to be paid before leaving. We are all going to receive the Hours we worked extra since we started the company (since none of us got a cent for all the overtime), the company is being fined and is going to be under the microscope from the fiscal authorities (turns out some lower class workers, mainly storage, weren't even employees and were paid under the table) and the boss is going to jail for dodging taxes, inhumane conditions etc. Thank you all for your help, and if your bosses fail you, sue them, get your bag and go on with life.

Update 3: They tried to sue both me and the Colleague that left the same day I did, in court we both said we talked with each other about leaving and planned to leave together, there seems to be nothing illegal with that (we left before the project was even presented to the company), we could all tell the boss we are quitting at the same time, it isn't against the law to plan to quit, and do so with other people. What we couldn't have done was what I planned to, which was leave AFTER the project was presented and made clear to all of us it was a HUGE deal, without turning in my 1-month notice (I would reject any severance while doing so), after that you can't be accused of quitting with malice because you turn in your notice, from then on is the company's problem.

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    Talk to a lawyer, in quite a few places this is getting close to getting criminally charged, and also painfully obvious.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 10:17
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    @Or4ng3h4t You don't need to prove anything to speak to a lawyer and they will be able to advise you on this situation. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 10:29
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    We know this is morally wrong. - The only moral obligation you have to your employer is to perform the work they pay you to perform. You have no other moral obligation to them. You owe them no allegiance. I don't see all of you resigning at the same time as morally wrong or ambiguous.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 12:18
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    How very useful closing a question after several answers were already posted anyway.
    – LoremIpsum
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 16:00
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    The question was closed because you used the magic word "should". Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 18:28

6 Answers 6

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Is the person you're asking this of your manager and is there a higher-up? If so, you could request a meeting and explain how you're not paid fairly and would prefer to stay, but that your direct manager ignores your whole department.

Do not mention a walkout. That is the nuclear option and not a good way to discuss things (e.g. "you must do X, or we all leave!"), that leaves no room for compromise and will likely just piss 'em off, resulting in a "well F you too" demeanor, and might possibly have legal reprocussions.


I do not recommend a team walkout. View it as a singular event, If you want to quit, quit. The others can decide on their own, they're not yours to deal with. Do not mention you're leaving, but say something along the lines of:

Market rate is X, I get Y. I can get X at a competitor and while I enjoy working here, it would be foolish to not take the {X-Y} every month.

That removes the greedy, that removes the hard requirement (from the convo, it still is there, but a lot less nuclear) and opens the door for compromise (maybe not more money, but fewer hours for the same money).

And if you still get no, you find another job. Don't whine, or threaten, simply leave.

And you can suggest the same to your colleagues, but walking all out at the same time is an emotional response. It could burn more bridges than expected when you leave at a time ("oh, isn't that one of {TEAM} who f-ed over {company}?"), while the singular approach (just coincidentally multiple times) isn't like that. Easier to explain to new employers too ("I gave them the option, they choose not to pay fair").

It is also walking a very thin line legal wise and while you could maybe join/start a union, and/or organize something, and/or ask an lawyer, but that has many risk, little rewards and not everyone will come out a winner.

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  • (As this is now the accepted answer, I've tried to add elements of other upvotes answers (as mine has none), so it doesnt not get lost for the quick visitors)
    – Martijn
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 11:00
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If you do not like your job, find another, get an offer in writing, and quit. It's really that simple. If everyone does this and the company fails, that's no concern of yours.

Deliberately organising to take the company down like this out of spite is a very bad idea. You and your co-conspirators could open yourselves up to a civil suit (especially since at least one member of your group is foolish enough to post this online). It's also highly unlikely all of you will have offers at the same time- some of you will end up jobless with no reference.

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  • So the company should be able to abuse theyr employees and get away free ? Im fighting this in court either way, and whos gonna search a random website in order to possibly get this post, and even then it cant be linked to me due to lack of identifieable features, litigation is expected
    – Or4ng3h4t
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 10:47
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    @Or4ng3h4t, no the company should not be able to get away with it, but you should also not deliberately try to organize things that everyone leaves at the same time. It is fine if everyone independently starts looking for another job and they happen to resign (with the proper notice period) in a short time frame from each other. You just can't have anything that points at this being a coordinated action. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 12:37
  • Understood, thank you for your input
    – Or4ng3h4t
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:08
  • Do you have any reference to that being actually a reasonable grounds for suing with any chance of winning? What exactly is the rule broken by employees organizing and deciding to exercise their right to quit? This looks similar as a strike, and strikes are not illegal.
    – LoremIpsum
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 15:56
  • @Or4ng3h4t So do it. Fight whatever laws they've broken in court. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 17:42
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Something very similiar to that has already been invented, it is called striking. Look it up. It is very powerful.

You do that quitting all at once stuff, but with a twist.

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  • That is a great ideia, but it would mean that until the strike is over we wouldnt receive a penny, and we need to eat.At least after quitting we have minimum income for 6 months
    – Or4ng3h4t
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 10:27
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    @Or4ng3h4t: If you have a union backing you, they usually give you strike-pay. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 10:53
  • Nice to know that, had no clue.
    – Or4ng3h4t
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 10:56
  • "At least after quitting we have minimum income for 6 months" You normally don't get unemployment from quitting, but that may be different depending on local laws.
    – Nelson
    Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 0:41
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You are not a slave, and if it suits your best interest to move on to a new employer than you should do so. While you describe a situation that is not favorable it was you who chose to accept those conditions. IMHO quiet quitting is morally wrong, while moving on to "greener pastures" is not.

You should not concern yourself with the health of the company or your friend's actions. Find a better job and move on. Serve out your notice period to the best of your ability. You are considered a professional so start acting like one instead of a prepubescent child.

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  • What they do is illegal and they deserve punishment, should i get lawyers involved ? is it less seen as a prepubescent child move ?
    – Or4ng3h4t
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 10:20
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    @Or4ng3h4t are you saying that the company is doing something illegal? What exactly? If they are doing something illegal there is no need for lawyers as you an inform the police of their behavior and they may or may not choose to investigate and prosecute. If they are doing something to you that violates employment law, then by all means seek out a lawyer that specializes in that area. Still I would move on.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 11:01
  • Not paying overtime, forcing people to stay after hours with threats of termination.Giving no breaks(Although im sure i would be laughed at by court xD)
    – Or4ng3h4t
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 11:06
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    How do you feel quiet quitting morally wrong? It's literally supposed to be "do as instructed/contracted and nothing more", which is exactly what the company pays for, right?
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:00
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    @PeteB. ah ok - that's a completely different definition from the rest of the world, but I guess if that's the one you use it makes sense to consider it immoral.
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 8, 2023 at 17:58
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Quit when you are personally ready to quit (i.e. you have already accepted a written offer for another job) and don't worry about or schedule your resignation based on when your colleagues are going to quit.

If the company has performed illegal activities, you report them to whatever governing body is responsible for investigating and punishing the company for those activities and let them handle it.

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Ofc we know this is "Morally Wrong" but they still make our life hell, i think we will follow through with it.

First check with a lawyer, as I can think of quite a few places and ways this could be seen not just as opening you to a civil lawsuit, but also to possibly criminal interest. It's one thing to leave the company, even as a group, it's another to intentionally time it to be as damaging to the company as possible.

More so now that you've made internet trace of that, also known as future exhibit 1 unless you also want to add stuff like contempt of court/perjury to the stack of things.

So talk with a lawyer.

Now to the question you didn't ask but really what you should've asked:

What to do in my situation, where I am underappreciated, underpaid, overworked and unhappy.

The answer is simple: go and find another job and as soon as you sign the paperwork put in your notice at the current place. If you want this is the time to tell them what colorful words you may want to leave them with, or just be professional, shake their hand and take it as a hard lesson as why you should've probably left a lot sooner, before it got this bad.

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    That feels overly dramatic. What exact crime would be committed here? In most legislations everyone has a fundamental right to resign whenever they want to (within the rules set out on their contract and local laws). You would need to strong legal mechanism to curtail this right and I can't think of one that would hold up in court. Can you cite a case where a mass exodus (honoring the contract) was considered illegal ? Are you claiming they are not allowed to resign ?
    – Hilmar
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 11:39
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    @Hilmar resign away, agree with friends to resign away together, all that is perfectly fine and legal and people are free to do. The problem is not with the act itself, but very intentionally timing it to cause company most harm, possibly even bankruptcy, for no other reason than, well, to do that (people own that company, and will lose money as direct result of this very intended action). When you conspire to cause monetary harm, expect there to be consequences. Probably a fun question for law SE to learn about how that goes in different jurisdictions.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 11:57
  • @Hilmar though if you can confidently say that there is zero risk of that, absolutely no civil, not to mention criminal, responsibility can come from that even when publicly spoken about (aka it doesn't rely on no one being able to prove it), then I am happy to drop that part. But I doubt that's what you can honestly say. Just more that this is hard to prove, which is true, bar people blabbing on the internet about it.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 11:59
  • I get the generic advice, but that's not really an answer to workplace question, more of comment that's slightly offtop.
    – Or4ng3h4t
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:16
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    Criminal charges? Where? Name even one place, and cite the law.
    – nobody
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 14:26

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