Yelp

News & Analysis as of

A Negative Review May Be Protected Activity Under U.S. Employment Law

Yelp, Inc. is more accustomed to being on the giving—rather than the receiving—end of a negative review. That changed recently when a Yelp customer service employee, Talia Ben-Ora, posted an open letter to Yelp’s CEO on her...more

Personal Gripes v. Protected Concerted Activity: Where To Draw The Line Regarding An Employee’s Job-Related Complaint On Social...

threshold questionBy now, many people have heard about the Yelp/Eat24 employee who published a rant last month on social media platform Medium addressed to Company CEO Jeremy Stoppelman relating to how her entry-level...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review - March 2016

Last week, Vitality Group, a health services firm, announced a new program designed to lower healthcare costs for its clients. Employees of a handful of companies, including John Hancock, Amgen, and others, will get a chance...more

Won’t You Please, Please Yelp Me?

Yelp, I need somebody - Yelp, not just anybody - Yelp, you know I need someone - Yelp! My apologies to the Beatles. But the notion that one can’t do it alone and expect to be protected, may just be an apt moral in today’s...more

Encouraging Employee Complaints. Yes, We’re Serious.

Last Friday, a Yelp employee posted an open letter to her CEO, describing how her customer service job in San Francisco does not pay enough to allow her to buy groceries or see a doctor. Within 24 hours of posting the letter...more

How Would You Rate Yelp As An Employer?

How many stars would you give Yelp as an employer? Read on! I’m sure you’ve all heard by now about Talia Ben-Ora, the Yelp employee who was trying to live in the San Francisco area working as a minimum-wage customer...more

Congress Acts to Ban Gag Clauses in Consumer Contracts

There is not a lot that all members of the U.S. Senate can agree on these days, but protecting the ability of consumers to write reviews of businesses is apparently an issue on which there is unanimity. First some background....more

The New “Yelp.com” for the Consumer Finance Industry

Since the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) in 2010, the CFPB has been accepting consumer complaints regarding financial services companies, and has been publishing data regarding these complaints...more

Status Updates: People-rating app proves unpopular; new tech automates compelling-photo selection; Twitter 101 for the political...

Bad reviews. On September 30th, the soon-to-be-launched app Peeple was described by the app’s co-founder, Julia Cordray, as a “Yelp for people,” that is, a people-rating platform that would allow users to assign number...more

That is SO last week - October 2015

Last week saw a lot of media coverage about “Yelp for People.” The app, called Peeple, allows users to rate friends, co-workers, and romantic partners based on a five-star rating system. Recruiters could review the ratings...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Franchise Systems Can Fight Online Negativity

One of today's challenges faced by franchisors and franchise systems is negative remarks posted online by a customer, ex-employee, or even a dissatisfied franchisee. Negative comments appear in sites created specifically to...more

Businesses rejoice but poster beware: Yelp ordered to identify anonymous reviewer

Many business have suffered the misery and frustration of a harshly negative, anonymous online review. That anonymity, critics argue, frees the reviewer from worries about the need for accuracy and, worse yet, encourages the...more

Judge Orders Yelp to Identify Anonymous Negative Commenter

On September 15, a judge in Boston ruled that Yelp must reveal the identity of an anonymous commenter who wrote a negative review of a jeweler on the online review site. The order to non-party Yelp in the attempted...more

Status Updates: Appeals court upholds anti-cyberbullying law; better marketing through neural networks; restaurant owner turns the...

Cruel intentions. Laws seeking to regulate speech on the Internet must be narrowly drafted to avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, and limiting such a law’s applicability to intentional attempts to cause damage usually...more

Yelp Reviewers Are Not “Employees”

In a world where the lines between employees and volunteers/interns are becoming increasingly blurred, it is nice to see at least one court easily dispense with a wage and hour lawsuit. On August 13, 2015, a federal judge...more

Socially Aware - Volume 6, Issue 3 - July/August 2015

Welcome to the newest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award winning guide to the law and business of social media. In this edition, we present a “grand unifying theory” of today’s leading technologies and the legal...more

Angie’s List Accuses Amazon of Home Improvement Hijinks

Even freed from bricks and mortar, online retailers and service providers are realizing that market share is not infinite. A complaint recently filed by Angie’s List Inc. against Amazon Local LLC for its newly launched online...more

The Right to Give One-Star Reviews

Congress has taken a step toward protecting consumers’ rights to post negative reviews on websites like Ripoff Report or Yelp with the introduction, by Representative Darrell E. Issa of California, of the Consumer Review...more

Yelp Fights for the Right to Complain Anonymously

In e-commerce, user reviews can make or break a business. Review sites such as Yelp are a double edged sword for merchants and service providers: on one hand satisfied customers can generate buzz about the company and bring...more

Socially Aware - Volume 6, Issue 2 - May 2015

In This Issue: - Court Protects Anonymity of Yelp Users - FTC Issues Landmark Report on Internet of Things - Who Will Update My Status When I’m Dead?: The Biggest Social Media Platforms’ Policies on...more

Court Protects Anonymity of Yelp Users

Virginia’s highest court recently held that Yelp could not be forced to turn over the identities of anonymous online reviewers that a Virginia carpet-cleaning owner claimed tarnished his business....more

Advertising Law - March 2015

NAD: A Product Can’t be The “#1 Prescribed Brand” Without Other Prescribed Brands - A “#1 brand prescribed” claim implies that professionals have a choice in prescribing brands, the National Advertising Division...more

The FTC Did Some Kid-ding Around in 2014

2014 was a busy year for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC announced something new under COPPA nearly every month, including...more

California Bans Nondisparagement Clauses in Consumer Contracts

The “Yelp” Bill impacts any entity or person doing business with consumers in California. Those who are fans of writing product or service reviews for sites such as Yelp will be pleased that California law just made it much...more

California Supreme Court Denies Review of Ruling Allowing Restaurant Owner’s False Advertising Claims to Proceed Against Yelp

On November 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court denied review of the California Court of Appeals decision in Demetriades v. Yelp, Inc., 2014 WL 3661491 (Cal. App. July 24, 2014), which allowed a restaurant owner to proceed...more

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