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Yelpers Re-file Lawsuit Arguing They're Unpaid Writers

Photo: Michael Dorausch

After a similar lawsuit was dismissed earlier this year, a new group of Yelpers its suing the hand that feeds them, arguing that Yelp should monetarily compensate its users. While the previous lawsuit, filed in October 2013, argued that Yelp's army of voluntarily reviewers actually functioned as "unpaid employees" who were "dominated and controlled" by Yelp, this new class-action suit takes a different approach: According to Consumerist, the plaintiffs argue that they complete the "exact same work" as paid Yelp employees known as "Yelp Scouts," and should thus be compensated the same amount.

The complaint names the Fair Labor Standards Act as precedent, arguing that Yelp's "discretionary method" of paying some but not others is illegal: "This is a lawsuit merely to provide the wages to all writers of Yelp and not just the ones which Yelp, Inc. chooses to pay in wages." Earlier this week, Yelp shareholders also filed suit against the crowdsourced review site, arguing they were misled about the "quality of reviews" that appeared on the site, particularly, Yelp's alleged practice of allowing businesses to suppress negative reviews. In response to the latter suit, Yelp said the allegations were "without merit."

· Yelp Reviewers File Class Action Lawsuit to Get Paid [Consumerist]
· Yelpers Sue Yelp Claiming They're 'Unpaid Writers' [-EN-]
· All Yelp Coverage on Eater [-E-]