Ellen Pao was ordered to pay $275,966 in attorney fees and court costs associated with a failed discrimination lawsuit. In 2012, Pao filed a $16 million lawsuit against her former employer, Kleiner, Caufield, Perkins & Byers. As stated in the complaint, the venture capitalist believes she was denied promotion because she is a female.
During her trial, Ellen Pao explained why she made the decision to sue her former employer. As reported by Business Insider, she simply wanted to raise awareness about her plight.
“I think there should be equal opportunities for women and men to be venture capitalists… I think it’s important, as a person who wanted to be a venture capitalist but wasn’t able, for people who wanted to be a venture capitalist to make those opportunities available in the future.”
Ellen Pao’s complaint against Kleiner, Caufield, Perkins & Byers contains four claims — which are defined under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
As discussed by the California Department of Fair Employment and housing, the act “prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment… and/or retaliation for protesting illegal discrimination related to one of these categories, or for reporting patient abuse in tax supported institutions.”
In the lawsuit, Pao claims she was denied promotion because she is a woman, she experienced retaliation from her employers and colleagues for reporting the discrimination, and she was ultimately terminated in retaliation for filing the lawsuit. Pao further accused the firm of “failure to take reasonable steps to prevent gender discrimination.”
— Forbes Tech News (@ForbesTech) June 6, 2015
Attorneys for Kleiner, Caufield, Perkins & Byers argued it was Ellen Pao’s performance, not her gender, which prevented her promotion. In March, a jury determined all four of Pao’s claims were unfounded.
Although the firm won the lawsuit, they were left with nearly $1 million in court costs and legal fees.
— Power2Peer News (@Power2Peer_com) June 6, 2015
As reported by NBC News, Kleiner, Caufield, Perkins & Byers filed a motion — asking the court to compel Pao to cover the exorbitant expenses.
Upon reviewing the motion, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn determined Ellen Pao is responsible for $276,000 of the court costs and legal fees.
Kleiner, Caufield, Perkins & Byers spokeswoman Christina Lee said the firm is satisfied with the judge’s ruling.
Ellen Pao, who is now CEO of reddit, has not commented on the judge’s decision. However, she did appeal the jury’s decision in her original lawsuit.
[Image via Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]