Courtney Brooks: Fired for speaking up

UntitledWhen Talia Jane posted An Open Letter To My CEO on Medium, she never thought it would result in losing her job. But unfortunately, although the United States grants us protection of freedom of speech, it could not protect Jane from Jeremy Stoppelman’s bruised ego.

Jane worked as a customer service representative for Eat24, a food-ordering app that is owned by Yelp. This was not her dream job; Jane was forced to take an entry-level position after graduating college and was making only $12.25 an hour. She rented an apartment 30 miles from her office, the closest that she could afford, but she was still struggling to make ends meet.

One night last week, after forcing herself to drink 2 liters of water to stop hunger pains (since her salary does not allow her the luxury of buying groceries) Jane began tweeting at Jeremy Stoppelman, the CEO of Eat24. When her tweets went unnoticed, she channeled her anger and frustration into a letter directed towards Stoppelman and posted it on Medium. The post detailed the struggles she faced everyday due to her low salary, from not being able to afford heat to living on the brink of starvation, and soon it went viral.

UntitledInstead of hearing Jane’s concerns and offering to help her, CEO Stoppelman responded with a series of tweets deflecting responsibility for her living situation. Jane was then fired for “violating Yelp’s terms of conduct.”

Jane’s story hits close to home with forty percent of college graduates being underemployed, we might all be facing a similar fate in the not-so-distant future.

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