Sh! Don’t tell anybody, but there are possibly millions of workers currently on the payroll who have quit their jobs. It’s called "quiet quitting." Employees don’t stop punching in, don’t turn in their resignation, don’t walk out the door; instead, they quietly decide to do only the bare minimum at work, nothing more. No staying an hour or two late to finish up, no taking on opening the store early, no arranging in-office gatherings to boost team-building, no brainstorming suggestions for innovating processes or products.

Gallup backs up the trend, reporting a decline in engagement and employee satisfaction, particularly among millennials and Gen Zers. Gallup’s biggest takeaway: at least 50% of the U.S. workforce is quiet quitting.

No wonder TikToker Zaid Khan drew millions with his July post saying employees should stop “going above and beyond at work.” Khan, known online as Zaidleppelin, is credited with catapulting the term and concept of quiet quitting into the cultural stratosphere.

Quiet quitting has become the hot topic of the moment, with prominent social critics alternately calling it another blow to the labor shortage or another tool for worker empowerment. And self-described quiet quitters are loudly — if anonymously — declaring why they’ve chosen to quietly quit. During the last several months, I’ve listened to numerous discussions across social media, TV and radio as workers articulate their anger about workplace conditions and low wages as motivation for quiet quitting. One woman — claiming to be underpaid — said she was giving her employer the quality of work he was paying for, saying quiet quitting should be called “working to the wage.”

For others, it’s less about anger and more about rejecting so-called “hustle culture,” that 60-hour work week competitiveness characteristic of American workplaces. As the Gallup survey underscored, most jobs today expect employees will go beyond the set parameters of the job. A September Harvard Business Review article identified those extra organizing, coordinating and implementing tasks as “citizenship behaviors,” and pointed out that “a workforce that is willing to go beyond the call of duty is a critical competitive advantage.” Quiet quitters are no longer willing.

But I also note that quiet quitting is not something everybody can risk doing, especially people of color and the women who end up doing a lot of the extra work. They can’t risk being outed for quiet quitting. Executing all the extra tasks is key to their job advancement and, frankly, to their job stability.

Rahkim Sabree, author of “Financially Irresponsible," told MSNBC what many studies have shown: employees of color have to do more. Sabree explained, “Our stellar performance would be viewed as expected or normal" but "someone who doesn’t look like us can deliver normal results and be rated as stellar."

Finally, I’m guessing most of us have worked alongside colleagues who didn’t even try to hide that they never did all of their assigned work and that they got away with it. I’m still mad about it. I can only hope that since the quiet quitters are no longer compensating for them, they’ll be exposed and noisily fired. That’s something I can loudly applaud.