Former junior partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, a venture
capital firm, Ellen Pao, has lost her gender discrimination suit against
her firm in which she claimed she was not promoted on the basis of her
gender. She further alleged to have been subject to harassment and faced
retaliation after complaining.
Pao’s attorneys claimed she was the victim of “despicable,
malicious, oppressive treatment” along with other double standards
such as not being invited to outings or being subjected to contradictory
and irreconcilable evaluations.
Conversely, Perkins contended Pao did not have what was required to exceed
as a venture capitalist.
Each of Pao’s four claims were rejected by the jury 9-3: that her
gender was a substantial reason for her lack of promotion, that her complains
were a significant reason for her lack of promotion, that Kleiner failed
to act to prevent discrimination, and that she was terminated as retaliation.
One lesson to be learned from this case was pointed out by
The New York Times. Pao had claimed that she had discovered Twitter as a potential investment
opportunity for the firm, a claim Perkins denied and pointed to the lack
of any written correspondence to support such a claim.
Times reports that some attorneys are advising their clients to take note of
any contributions made to their respective firms in either email, notes,
or formal memos to protect any claims later on.
Speak with Attorney Bill Marder if you feel you have been discriminated
against at your place of business.