Yelp employee who writes open letter to CEO about her low wages is fired

- A Yelp employee was fired after posting a scathing open letter to Yelp's CEO about her entry level salary which she says left her weighed down with debt and unable to pay for transportation or food.

In the letter published on the site Medium, 25-year-old recent college grad Talia Jane said she had not bought groceries since taking the job at the San Francisco based company. 

Jane worked for the company's food delivery service Eat24.

"Isn’t that ironic? Your employee for your food delivery app that you spent $300 million to buy can’t afford to buy food. That’s gotta be a little ironic, right?" Jane wrote.

The former customer-service rep described waking up with hunger pains and explained that she even stopped using her heater and began sleeping fully clothed under several blankets because she wasn't able to pay her PG&E bills. 

She detailed how 80% of her $733.24 bi-weekly wage went towards rent.

While Jane acknowledged that the health benefits at the company were good, she said the $20 dollar co-pay for health coverage didn’t determine whether or not she could afford to get to work the next week.

She also suggested the company "cut back on a lot of the drinks and snacks that are stocked" in the building. "I could handle losing out on pistachio nuts if I was getting paid enough to afford groceries," Jane said.

It didn't take long for Yelp's CEO to respond to the letter.

Jeremy Stoppelmann took to Twitter to say that he has long been an outspoken proponent for affordable housing.

Stoppelman also said that he was not "personally involved in Talia being let go." And he said she wasn't fired because of the letter directed at him saying there are “[t]wo sides to every HR story.”

KTVU Fox 2 reached out to Yelp, which said that while the company does not comment on personnel or compensation matters, it did agree with many of the points Jane made in her letter and "thought it served as an important example of freedom of speech."
 
Yelp went on to say, "We agree with her remarks about the high costs of living in San Francisco, which is why we announced in December that we are expanding our Eat24 customer support team into our Phoenix office where will pay the same wage." 
 
After posting the original letter, Jane later wrote an update announcing her termination. "This was entirely unplanned (but I guess not completely unexpected?) but any help until I find new employment would be extremely appreciated."

 

 

 

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