A gender discrimination lawsuit was filed against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC by Ellen Pao, one of the partners at the company. Yesterday, a California judge tentatively rejected KPCB’s bid to move the lawsuit into arbitration.
Pao said that when she worked at the venture capital firm, her harassment claims were ignored after a senior partner suggested that marrying the harasser might be the solution to her difficulties. Women were allegedly called “buzz kills” at the company too.
Kleiner Perkins said that Pao was an underperforming partner at the company and she never told the firm that she was unhappy with her treatment by male colleagues.
“There is no arbitration agreement between plaintiff and defendant,” said Judge Harold Kahn in his preliminary ruling. A hearing on Kleiner’s arbitration request is scheduled for today.