Yelp reviewers file class-action suit, want compensation

Should you get paid for reviewing restaurants and other businesses on Yelp? More to the point, did you know a group of people already do? A new class-action lawsuit, filed by Yelp reviewers, aims to pay you for reviews.

Yelp has a crew of reviewers called "Scouts", who are paid for reviewing businesses. According to the lawsuit, which has been re-filed after being dismissed, a "Scout" and any other Yelp reviewer are one in the same:

Not only must the wage-paid and non-wage-paid writers follow the exact same rules dictated by Defendant, but when looking at the profiles of the writers on Yelp's website, there is no distinction made between them, other than a rare "Scout" or "Ambassador" badge for a wage-paid writer. This discretionary method of paying some employees wages, but not others, is in violation of the FLSA.

No damages have been assigned to this case yet, so it's not clear just how much the plaintiffs are seeking. It's an interesting lawsuit, though, and may open up a can of worms about unpaid "labor".

On the flip-side, there is a difference between taking a job and offering a review. None of these unpaid users have been coerced into using Yelp. If they plaintiffs end up successful, though, expect more dominos to fall. Google also has a growing review system, which ties into Search — a much more lucrative and crucial system, some would argue.

Source: The Consumerist