Yelp worker fired after sending open letter to CEO

Yelp worker fired after sending open letter to CEO

A Yelp worker who penned an open letter to the CEO detailing the struggles of living on her mediocre wage has allegedly been fired as a result.

Talia Jane published the letter, addressed to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, last Friday. She was fired just hours later, Yahoo! Tech reported.

Famous for its employee perks, Silicon Valley where Yelp is based is reputed as a highly desirable area to work.

But for Jane, who worked in customer service for the internet company, the utopian workplace was a myth.

 “Every single one of my co-workers is struggling,” she wrote in her Medium post.

“They’re taking side jobs, they’re living at home. One of them started a GoFundMe because she couldn’t pay her rent.”

Jane reported in the letter that her bi-weekly pay cheque came out to just $733.24 (£518.58) — representing her pay of $8.15 (£5.76) an hour post-taxes.

Her San Francisco rent ate up $1,245 (£880.39) each month, and her daily public transportation costs came out to $11.30 (£7.99), leaving little money available to buy food or any other basic necessities like heating.

Jane updated her letter after being fired, stating Yelp has told her that her “letter violated Yelp’s Terms of Conduct and for that reason, they had to ‘separate’ from me”.

CEO Stoppleman has since responded to the alarming allegations in a series of tweets, noting that San Francisco should lower its housing costs and claiming the letter was not the cause of her termination. 

This isn't the first time a worker has gained the CEO's attention with an open letter, with Amazon staff releasing a letter entitled "An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos" last week amid claims of "scary" HR practice at the company. 

Comments (2)

  • Randall
    Tue, 23 Feb 2016 5:26pm GMT
    There seems to be THREE key issues here-
    1- The employee obviously has NO WAY internally to send her discussion of her problems to the CEO
    2- "Someone" in the company did not like the fact that an "insider" shared the company's "dirty laundry" with the outside world.
    3- Ever though HE (Stoppleman) has said that that person's firing was not due to the letter (in direct conflict with the HR statement that it was) HE did not state that the firing was dismissed or that HE would look into pay levels to see what could be done to improve the (now fired) employee's (and her associate's) financial status now that HE was aware of the problems.

    RE- the original question: NO they should not have fired the employee because THEY did not provide the employee with any reasonable method of discussing the problem with the CEO. Additionally, once the CEO of this "REVERED" company became aware of the pay problem for ALL of the employees at that level, the CEO should have explored ways "make things right".
  • Gill
    Tue, 23 Feb 2016 1:44pm GMT
    Whilst dismissal seems harsh - why do people think it is acceptable to publish these kind of documents before giving their employer a chance to respond. Publishing a letter such as that might also get someone dismissed from here because it is bringing the company into disrepute.

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