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Yelp boss blames high rent for workers being unable to afford groceries in response to employee's sacking for open letter

Yelp chief executive Jeremy Stoppelman has defended the company’s pay structure, following the sacking of a customer support employee who penned an open letter to him in which she revealed she was almost living in poverty.

Jeremy Stoppelman Yelp

Talia Jane was fired from the internet company after publishing an open letter to the Yelp co-founder, Jeremy Stoppelman, on Friday (19 February), in which she highlighted the crippling financial struggles which she and her co-workers were enduring as a result of low pay.

In the letter Jane revealed her bi-weekly paycheck of $733.24 left her unable to pay for both groceries and travel after she had paid her San Francisco rent of $1,245. According to her letter Jane’s struggles are shared by many of her co-workers, she said “every single one of my co-workers is struggling” and claimed that many were forced to take side jobs or live with their parents. In an update to her letter Jane confirmed that she had been sacked from Yelp and she told Quartz that an email from the company’s HR department explained the reason for her termination was because the “letter violated Yelp’s Terms of Conduct and for that reason, they (Yelp/Eat24) had to ‘separate’ from me.”

Stoppelman was quick to respond to the damning allegations with a series of tweets which appeared to shift the blame of the company’s employees’ financial struggles to San Francisco’s high rent prices.