Ellen Pao Ordered To Pay $275,966 In Failed Discrimination Lawsuit

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.”

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.