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Pao to appeal discrimination lawsuit verdict

 

Ellen Pao filed a court notice on June 1 indicating she plans to appeal the verdict in her gender discrimination lawsuit against Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

In March, a jury found that Ms. Pao's gender was not a substantial factor in the firm's decision to deny her a promotion to senior partner. The jury also found that the firm had not demonstrated gender bias with regard to her advancement, did not retaliate against her, and had taken steps to prevent gender discrimination against her.

Ms. Pao's lawsuit, filed in 2012, sought $16 million in compensatory damages and asked for punitive damages. The suit alleged that Kleiner Perkins discriminates against women for promotions and compensation, and retaliated against her after she complained about harassment by a peer who allegedly pressured her into a brief sexual relationship.

The appeal came after both parties wrangled over legal fees. Kleiner Perkins reportedly asked for $1 million from the plaintiff to recover a small portion of its trial costs, and then offered to waive the fees to avoid an appeal. Ms. Pao countered by asking for $2.7 million not to file an appeal, which the firm declined to pay.

— Sandy Brundage

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