Another Yelp ex-employee has written an open letter, published on the site Medium.com, to her former employer blasting them and accusing the company of terminating a single mother for asking for three days of unpaid leave while she cared for her boyfriend who was in the ICU at the time.
The open letter written by Jaymee Senigaglia earlier this week comes on the heels of another open letter to Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppleman published by 25-year-old Talia Jane which accused the San Francisco-based company of not paying employees a decent living wage.
Single mother Senigaglia addressed Jane’s letter in her opening statement as she detailed her discontent with Yelp, despite, as she claims, being a good employee and “pretty damn good at my job”:
I am the single mother who took out a loan with 300% interest to move to SF to begin training December 1st at Yelp and uprooted my 3 year old from everything he knows.
I am the single mother whose manager in month two told me that by using my last half day off we are allotted during training to care for my son who was having breathing problems from bronchitis, that I was putting her in a tough spot. I stayed at work.
I am the single mother who closed 17K in month one and 19K in month two. I am the single mother who gets to see her son for a few hours a night, pays $2500 in rent (I make 2k a month so YES, my family has to help and I am so sorry to burden them), pays $1200 a month in daycare (#yelpcares — no subsidy there)
I am the single mother whose boyfriend was in a horrible mountain biking accident on Saturday and landed in the ICU with a brain bleed.
I am the single mother who immediately told my manager and director what happened and I would be the one caring for him. They told me they hoped he would be okay, they were so sorry, and would look into options Monday.
I am the single mother who while in the ICU today got a phone call from my manager, director, and HR who said I could either come in now or resign.When I said I needed some time and this is all traumatic with caring for my boyfriend they told me that I would need to make a decision by noon and if I didn’t come in or resign, they would terminate me. In tears I said ok and hung up.
Senigaglia signs off sardonically with the hashtag “#YelpCares”, but not before one interesting last jab:
My family needed me and you fired me Yelp. And while you use our lunch breaks for company wide meetings to keep spreading anti-extortion campaigns…
That last statement regarding anti-extortion campaigns is particularly interesting given the company’s troubled history with lawsuits from small businesses that have claimed that Yelp extorted them for ad money in exchange for higher rankings and altering reviews in their famously shrouded algorithm. The upcoming documentary, “Billion Dollar Baby” is currently in production and will examine some of these claims and Yelp’s alleged shady business practices.
Yelp publicly responded to Senigaglia’s open letter on March 1 with a pinned tweet with the following message:
— Yelp (@Yelp) March 1, 2016
As for Jane, who wrote the original letter to the CEO, complaining that Yelp didn’t pay a living wage to survive in the San Francisco area?
Well, she got fired by Yelp and is now accepting cash donations via PayPal and Venmo in the meantime. The letter on Medium went viral and has sparked debates on the issues of sky-high costs of rents in San Francisco and also, well, whether or not Jane is a whiny and entitled millennial. The answer is to the latter is perhaps “yes”, but it looks like Yelp’s reputation throughout the whole matter isn’t escaping completely unscathed.
One star for Yelp, for its alleged poor treatment of its ex-employees (since zero isn’t allowed!).