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Judge Awards Payment to Kleiner Perkins
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Ellen Pao

Summary: Kleiner Perkins was sued by Ellen Pao, a former employee for sex discrimination but the court has ruled in favor of the company, not complainant.

Ellen Pao, a former employee for Kleiner Perkins had filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the venture capital firm for not promoting her and ultimately firing her. The court ruled in favor of Kleiner Perkins and awarded them $276,000 to be paid by Pao for legal fees.


Pao started this legal battle with Kleiner Perkins three years ago. She sought $16 million for lost wages but the court could have given her up to $100 million if Kleiner Perkins has acted with malice. The court did not give her any award. Kleiner Perkins asked the court to give them a compensation of $1 million in legal fees.

Kleiner Perkins had offered to settle with Pao for $1 million at an earlier time. She declined, calling the settlement a “token or nominal offer”. The San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Harold Kahn, decided that the offer from Kleiner Perkins to settle was in good faith and not an attempt to get out of the lawsuit so they should be awarded with having some of their legal fees paid.

Kahn stated that ordering Pao to pay $1 million was too great of a financial hardship and decided that the $865,000 that Kleiner Perkins wanted for hiring experts in the case was too much to ask for, no matter what her financial circumstances may be. Pao’s own legal fees are at $2.7 million. She had offered to drop the jury’s verdict appeal if Kleiner Perkins covered her bill but they have obviously declined to cover her costs. Pao is now the acting CEO at Reddit.

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