Yelp Reviewers File Class-Action Lawsuit Claiming They Are Unpaid Writers

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from

My question: if an Elite reviewer is found to be an employee of Yelp, do they then have exposure to workers’ compensation claims?

A group of irate reviewers have sued Yelp, claiming that they are unpaid writers who are vital to the company’s existence.

The plaintiffs filed a California class action lawsuit in Los Angeles on October 22, referring to themselves as writers and non-wage paid employees at the review site who have earned the company huge sums of money.

“The practice of classifying employees as ‘reviewers’ or ‘Yelpers’ or ‘Elites’ or ‘independent contractors’ or ‘interns’ or ‘volunteers’ or ‘contributors’ to avoid paying wages is prohibited by federal law, which requires employers to pay all workers who provide material benefit to their employer, at least the minimum wage,” the lawsuit reads.

The plaintiffs also claim to have been unjustly “fired” by Yelp when their accounts were suspended, and that they were pressured by the site to write more reviews in order to remain “Elite” Yelpers, a designation the site awards its most active and followed reviewers.

“In order to maintain her ‘Elite’ status, (plaintiff Lily Jeung) was often directed to write more reviews if in Yelp’s opinion her production seemed to slack off,” the lawsuit contends. “Ms. Jeung was fired from her position with no warning, a flimsy explanation, and no opportunity for recourse or appeal rights. Her license to write reviews was revoked; the awards she had attained were taken away;…

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