Yelp Employee Fired After Writing an Open Letter Complaining About Low Pay

February 20, 2016 Updated: February 21, 2016

A Yelp employee has been fired after writing an open letter to the company’s CEO complaining about her low pay and her struggle to pay rent.

The employee, a customer service agent, wrote a lengthy, despairing account of her post-college debt and her current inability to afford groceries.

“Dear Jeremy [Stoppelman],” wrote Talia, a pseudonym. “I can’t afford to buy groceries. Bread is a luxury to me, even though you’ve got a whole fridge full of it on the 8th floor.”

Jane had struggled with finding freelance journalism work after graduating with a BA in English before settling for her customer service job at Yelp. At one point, her financial problems became so acute that she couldn’t afford to pay for a public transportation ticket. In her letter, she complained about everything from the copay at the dentist to her phone bill.

“Look, I’ll make you a deal. You don’t have to pay my phone bill. I’ll just disconnect my phone,” Talia wrote.

On Friday, Talia said on Twitter that she had been fired, and that the order came from the top, since her manager didn’t even know.

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman has denied that he had anything to do with letting Talia go, and sympathized with her issues with rent, which has risen steadily in San Francisco.

According to Talia, she was let go because her letter had violated the terms of conduct set for her employment.