All Articles Tagged "Ellen Pao"
Ellen Pao, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, may have sued her boss, but that doesn’t mean she’s given up on her job. According to Forbes, Pao filed a gender discrimination suit against her bosses at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm on May 10.
While neither Pao nor her lawyers have discussed the lawsuit with the press, she has made a statement about it on Quora, a question and answer website. One user on the site anonymously asked if she quit after the lawsuit, and Pao responded, “no and I don’t plan to quit.”
Pao’s case asserts that she had undergone several sexual harassment encounters over the course of six years. It states that Ajit Nazre, a partner who left last year, pressured her to have a sexual relationship with him. She admits in the complaint that she acquiesced one or three times, but when she attempted to put an end to the relationship Nazre began to exclude her from business meetings and important discussions. According to the complaint, when Pao reported the harassment to human resources and to senior partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, they took her off the board of one of their startups and even suggested she move to their office in China. One of the senior partners, Ray Lane, then actually encouraged Pao to marry Nazre and meet with him for lunch to settle their disagreement. Nazre was later promoted and became Pao’s boss. In her suit, Nazre wasn’t the only one sexually harassing Pao. She claims senior partner Randy Komisar also made advances towards her which she rejected. In response to the suit, a note from a top partner at the firm claims her case was made without merit.
With Pao still in the office, the situation is awkward to say the least, but Anne Golden, a partner at the plaintiff-side employment law firm Outten & Golden believes that staying is good for her case. If she left it would be harder to prove that she lost income and benefits because of the harassment.
Daniel O’Meara, the chairman of the employment law department of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, says that her presence will cause discomfort on both sides, and will also assist her if she wants to settle the case.
“They are going to want to pay her to get out of there,” he said to Forbes. Staying “enhances her bargaining power.” At the same time, there is the matter of Pao’s emotionally stability. “I sometimes tell my clients that their life is more important than their case,” Golden said.
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