Female former Junior Partner Loses Gender Discrimination Suit

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.

The 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.

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