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Would you have fired Talia Jane?

Talia Jane is a millennial (25) who recently got sacked for speaking out against her employer Yelp in a Medium article:
https://medium.com/@taliajane/an-open-letter-to-my-ceo-fb73df021e7a#.aqku8dufu

Just curious, would any of you have fired her were she one of your employees? Why or why not?

151 Replies

Henry Dembinski
12
9
Henry Dembinski Entrepreneur
Logistics/Supply Chain Expert

Talia Janeshould have listened to the proverb. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Thomas J. Kaled
4
1
Thomas J. Kaled Advisor
Business Development Consultant @ thomas.kaled@gmail.com
everipedia.com/talia-jane

http://thatsalotofrice.com/
Duane Roberts
3
3
Duane Roberts Entrepreneur • Advisor
Executive Recruiter at KA Search Partners Inc
Given the number of bad decisions she made she had to go. Just think what the work environment would have been like had she not been fired.
Cindy Riach
20
3
Cindy Riach Advisor
Founder | Facilitator ► Founders Connect
I think I would have looked at the symptoms of her complaints and had a conversation with her and other witnesses. I would have wanted the conversation to turn to resolution and to create something with accountability around it. I would have wanted this situation to be witnessed so that the team/company can hold it, instead of one person's decision.

I would have wanted to understand and have more compassion.
Katherine Kylila Bullard
13
3
Artistic Social Entrepreneur and Innovative Communicator
I would first have a conversation with her and ask for her honest feedback. I would then want to know why she felt the need to go public with her grievances, as it is an indicator of internal communication on my end- so I would look for ways to improve it. If she just turned out to be a bad and entitled employee , I would fire her.
Adryenn Ashley
15
2
Adryenn Ashley Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder at CrowdedTV; #SocialTV Influencer
It depends on if she had reached out with her concerns privately first. If so and we ignored her, then no. If not and the public open letter was her first attempt to resolve the issue, then yes. It's complicated. The company has to bear some of the responsibility for knowingly not paying a living wage in the most expensive city in the country. HR could have used a simple worksheet to reveal that her moving across country to take a minimum wage job would result in starvation. A local, living at home, being fed by parents, without student loans, rent, etc, would be able to do it. Anyone else, no way. That part of the equation is on them. In addition, she had previously made suggestions up her chain of command that were summarily dismissed, giving way to the impression that she would not be heard no matter what she was suggesting. And twenty-somethings have been weaned on social media. It's unrealistic to think that social media is not the first place they will lash out, or post their cry for help. It's second nature. No filter, no privacy. Hire them and your company best live up to the hype. *Adryenn Ashley* Business Architect Adryenn Ashley t: [removed to protect privacy] | e: [removed to protect privacy] | w: http://www.wowisme.net http://follr.me/adryenn http://about.me/adryenn
Robert Lee
14
5
Robert Lee Advisor
Lifelong entrepreneur, inventor and artist
She applied for the job knowing what her own qualifications were for that position and the company hired her for the salary offered. Nothing secretive or undisclosed on either side. But then to publicly denounce your employer with all that in place is disrespectful not only to your employer but also to your co-workers. The job was offered to her and she accepted it. Nothing more needs to be said.
Irwin Stein
40
12
Irwin Stein Advisor
Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.
You cannot pay employees minimum wage in San Francisco and expect optimal performance. Yelp does not have to be in SF. That is part of the CEO's ego. They could save a lot of money moving to Oakland and pay employees more. They can take the jobs to India. But there is no justification for paying white collar workers that little. Those of you founders in this forum need a reality check. Employees make you money. Treat them right or you will fail.
Robert Lee
6
2
Robert Lee Advisor
Lifelong entrepreneur, inventor and artist
I believe that taking a one-sided approach to any problem generally never solves anything in a resolute manner. Does anyone believe that simply paying the lowest level of employees more salary will permanently solve the problem? Landlords will then hike their rents up to grab more of their share of the new-found wealth as will restaurants and grocery stores as their costs also go up. And then...

It's a balancing act and I'm still looking for the answers that will make everyone a little happy and a little unhappy.

Here's a reasonable analysis just up on Forbes.
Dennis Augustine
10
0
Dennis Augustine Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder, Sr. Sitecore Solution Architect/BA
People have the right to speak up when they believe they are being treated poorly. The only thing that I'd be concerned with is whether what she said is true or not. If it's true and embarrasses the company then the company SHOULD be embarrassed.

I'll also say a hearty "amen" to Irwin's point up there ^. Pay your people a decent living wag but not just for the sake of your own success but because it's the right thing to do and people are important.
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