spicy topic. Yes, given the information at hand, i would have fired her.
1. she gave the company no good options by going public in what appears to be her first or perhaps second attempt to address the issue. Different story if she had made multiple, more appropriate attempts prior and her public name and shame campaign was a last resort.
2. paying customer-facing employees $1,500/month in the Bay area is simply a bad business decision. Yes, she's college educated and of course she should have been able to figure out that her choices of housing, travel expenses, communications, etc. would not pencil out, BUT i would call out Yelp management for being apparently dumb enough to believe they could make minimum wage work for that position locally. That's just plain ignorant on their part. And if they truly do have a policy that all CSRs stay in customer service for 12 months they need another big dope slap upside the head. CSRs who show initiative, leadership, critical thinking, judgement should be able to advance on merit not on time in the penalty box.
3. customer facing personnel are typically the first interaction your customers (and others) have with your company. Far too many companies use customer service as a training ground/penalty box. not smart. Figure out a way to make the numbers work (level 1 self serve, level 2 community serve, level 3 first company contact, etc.) such that you can afford to hire the right quality of employee here.
4. judgement and critical thinking skills are vital tools for CSRs. She showed a lack of both.
5. She could move to Seattle (the city of) where our minimum wage is now $15.00/hr, but i doubt i'll be hiring her anytime soon UNLESS she has a flash of brilliance and posts a well crafted and heart-felt public apology in which she demonstrates that she understands that her public letter to her CEO showed:
A. her overgrown sense of entitlement
B. her realization that a college degree in english literature might not be the launch point for the career path she apparently didn't plan well for.
C. how her degree in english lit can be of real value to the company
D. That the world is competitive and she's not entitled to a hire wage from this company in this job title just because she can't make ends meet given the choices she has made. The world is full of people who can do your job as well or better for the same or less $$. If she shows she understands this and shows how she can deliver greater value for the company then she's moving in the right direction.
E. that she understands that her current customer-facing job is about judgement and critical thinking skills and that, in hind-sight, she clearly exhibited neither of these skills in her decision to publicly shame her CEO
She has a real opportunity as does Yelp actually, to turn this around to the positive for both. She posts a well-crafted public apology in which she clearly demonstrates that she 'gets it' - she lays out all the reasons why her post was not the best approach to solving the problem and hand and takes responsibility and clearly demonstrates critical thinking, judgement and leadership then i think Yelp should hire her back and use her clear strengths to everyone's advantage. Perhaps they offer to giver her a leadership roll in planning the relocation/near-sourcing/offshoring of the level 3+ CS role with input as to hiring profiles and career path planning, training, etc. Both can make lemonade of these lemons.
Then of course if she declines because she simply doesn't want to move then we have our answer.