A former Yelp employee claims she was fired for asking for three days unpaid leave after her boyfriend was in a mountain biking accident over the weekend.
Jaymee Senigaglia wrote about her experience in a blog post on Medium published on Monday. In the post, Senigaglia says she got a call from her “manager, director, and HR who said I could either come in now or resign.”
Yelp disputes the reason for Senigaglia’s departure. It says she was fired for “repeated absences” after receiving multiple warnings.
“We had to part ways with Ms. Senigaglia due to repeated absences (10 of her 59 workdays with Yelp) despite many exceptions to accommodate her needs,” Yelp said in a statement pinned to the top of its Twitter account.”We provided multiple, documented warnings and ongoing performance conselling specifically related to reliability and attendance issues. Sadly, this role was just not a good fit. We wish her the best,” it added.
Senigaglia, who has a three-year-old child, has a different account of what happened. She wrote (emphasis ours):
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 ok, 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 provides reasons for some absences in her post:
I am the single mother who in week 1 of month 3 came to work with such a horrible cold I had no voice but only went home sick when I couldn’t pitch any more.
I am the single mother whose 3-year-old hid her keys in the fridge on Friday and couldn’t get to f — — — — — — work.
She also says that she made efforts to stay at work, even when her son was having health issues. She writes: “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.”
Senigaglia did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Yelp has recently been in the news over the cost of living and worker conditions in Silicon Valley. Last month, a former employee of Yelp’s Eat24 food-ordering subsidiary wrote an open letter to CEO Jeremy Stoppelman on Medium about how she struggled to live on the salary Yelp paid her.
“So here I am, 25-years old, balancing all sorts of debt and trying to pave a life for myself that doesn’t involve crying in the bathtub every week. Every single one of my coworkers is struggling,” she wrote.
She was fired two hours later.
The open letter has sparked discussion about living conditions in the Bay Area, including some highly critical responses.
“This is about this girl’s personal responsibility to be an adult and find a job, or two (God forbid she have to give up a weekend day to be a waitress), an affordable living situation and an affordable city in which to work,” wrote 29-year-old Stephanie Williams. “Yelp, as bad as they are and as much as I hate the arseholes who use it to pretend they are New York Times food critics about the Applebee’s on Walnut St., is not the issue in this moment.”