Yelp Employee Fired After Her Open Letter on Livable Wages Goes Viral


A young Yelp employee was fired less than two hours after writing an open letter to CEO Jeremy Stoppelman about unlivable wages.

25-year-old Talia Jane posted the open letter last week and the low level wages her and her fellow employees are being paid:

She then updated to let people know she had been fired:

Talia writes:

“So here I am, 25-years old, balancing all sorts of debt and trying to pave a life for myself that doesn’t involve crying in the bathtub every week. Every single one of my coworkers is struggling. They’re taking side jobs, they’re living at home. One of them started a GoFundMe because she couldn’t pay her rent.”

She also explains that because so much of her wages go to her rent. She gets paid $733.24 every two weeks, and her rent is $1245. That makes 80% of her wages going straight to her rent, as she lives and works in San Francisco where living expenses of some of the highest in the country. She can’t even afford to buy groceries:

“I haven’t bought groceries since I started this job. Not because I’m lazy, but because I got this ten pound bag of rice before I moved here and my meals at home (including the one I’m having as I write this) consist, by and large, of that. Because I can’t afford to buy groceries.”

Stoppelman insists that Talia’s firing had nothing to do with her open letter.

Talia fired back, saying she was told that her firing was a direct result of her open letter:

Stoppelman is correct that the cost of living in San Francisco needs to be lowered. Recently home prices have surged due to home-sharing. And, of course, the fight for a livable wage being higher than the current $7.25 federal minimum wage is happening nearly everywhere across the country. But it does seem fishy that Talia was fired almost immediately after her open letter was published.


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Ruth Milka started as an intern for NationofChange in 2015. Known for her thoughtful and thorough approach, Ruth is committed to shedding light on the intersection of environmental issues and their impact on human communities. Her reporting consistently highlights the urgency of environmental challenges while emphasizing the human stories at the heart of these issues. Ruth’s work is driven by a passion for truth and a dedication to informing the public about critical global matters concerning the environment and human rights.