Judge Denies Arbitration For Silicon Valley Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, an iconic Silicon Valley venture capital firm, has lost its bid to move a sexual harassment lawsuit to arbitration.
San Francisco Superior Court judge Harold E. Kahn rejected the firm's motion on Friday, opening the door to either a public trial or a potentially expensive settlement. The plaintiff, Ellen Pao, is a female partner at the firm.
Pao filed an employment lawsuit in May, alleging that senior partners failed to stop a colleague from harassing her after she broke off a sexual relationship with him.
Outside the courtroom, Pao's lawyer, Alan Exelrod, said his client is pleased with the judge's decision: "This case involves a civil rights issue. We feel that it's an issue for the community. The community is the jury. And so we agree with that."
Kleiner Perkins has said it will continue to pursue its arbitration claims.