Controversy of the Day

So what do you think of the Yelp employee who openly complained about her salary and got fired?

yelp employee talia jane

The party's over for former Yelp employee Talia Jane after she complained about her salary online. (Yelp.com/Flickr)

A lot of us have been in that awful place where you can’t afford groceries, it's tough to make rent, and you're not getting paid enough to pay back those looming student loans. That’s the reality that a lot of recent college grads are facing (not to mention a lot of people who don't ever have the chance to go to college). And that's surely why so many people have strong opinions about the story of the Yelp employee who went public with her story of trying, and failing, to make ends meet.

Talia Ben-Ora, AKA Talia Jane, wrote an open letter on the publishing platform Medium to the CEO of Yelp about how she wasn't earning enough money at Yelp to buy food.

Yelp’s response? Firing Ben-Ora.

The CEO of Yelp even tweeted about the situation.

The Internet’s reactions have been decidedly mixed.

That response is one that a lot of millennials get, and it’s about work ethic:

“Work ethic is not something that develops from entitlement. Quite the opposite, in fact. ... It comes from sucking up the bad aspects and focusing on the good and above all it comes from humility. It comes from modesty. And those are two things, based on your article, that you clearly do not possess.”

Ouch. Sounds like a real takedown, right? So what’s the problem? Well, the situation isn’t so black and white. The company may be at fault for not paying a living wage in such an expensive area, and Talia Jane could have found other solutions to her problems other than writing an open letter and starting a GoFundMe campaign.

Whether you support Talia Jane or not, before you publish your own response to someone else’s problems, you might want to check your privilege.

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So what do you think of the Yelp employee who openly complained about her salary and got fired?

Sarah Braun

Sarah is a freelance writer from Northern Virginia. She graduated from UVA in 2014 and since then has been traveling abroad with her husband and pet bearded dragon, Lady Smaug. When she’s not writing you can find her checking out a museum exhibit, wandering around a used bookshop, or watching reruns of “Gilmore Girls.”

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