Complaining publicly about being fired is not a particularly bright idea, as potential future employers may be concerned that you’ll be publicly critical of them at some point. Even so, and even though it’s understandable that the employer being complained about will want to defend their reputation, it’s not a great idea to reveal details of your employee’s work performance and history. I think Yelp just seriously tarnished its own image in attempting to do reputation management:
— Yelp (@Yelp) March 1, 2016
If you can’t read the statement that Yelp tweeted as an image, it says:
Yelp employs thousands of people and provides new job opportunities to hundreds each year. We provide extensive training and significant benefits to our employees, as well as guidance for those with performance issues.
Unfortunately, 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. We provided multiple, documented warnings and ongoing performance counselling specifically related to reliability and attendance issues. Sadly, this role was just not a good fit. We wish her the best.
Did Yelp violate any employee privacy laws in California by sharing that information? I have no idea, although some lawyers interviewed by Tess Townsend suggest that the now-former employee would not have a strong case unless the company misrepresented how many warnings she had received – and even then, that would be a defamation issue, not a privacy issue.
Even if there is no violation of workplace privacy law, I still think it’s a class-less and risky move to disclose employee personnel matters to the public. I hope Yelp reconsiders this approach going forward.