Former venture capitalist Ellen Pao is asking for $16 million in damages for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender discrimination, reports the Mercury News.
Pao says she was dismissed shortly after filing a written complaint about gender discrimination at the firm. At a hearing this week, Pao questioned former co-worker Aileen Lee about a dinner with former Vice President Al Gore that only male partners at Kleiner attended. The firm accuses Pao of twisting the facts to create legal claims. It says its own internal investigation of her complaint found it was without merit.
In her complaint, Pao said she was pressured into having an affair with a male junior partner at the firm and claims the company did nothing about it when she complained. She also accuses the company of denying promotions and pay raises based on her gender.
The high profile case which is expected to go to trial in two weeks comes at a time Silicon Valley has been under scrutiny for its lack of diversity. You can read more about that and the history of Pao at Kleiner in the Mercury News.