Update: Pao to appeal ruling in sex discrimination case

A jury ruled against her in March in a lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins

Ellen Pao
A jury found that gender was not a reason that venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers fired former employee Ellen Pao. Credit: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Former venture capitalist Ellen Pao intends to appeal the decision in the sex discrimination lawsuit she lost against her former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

A 12-person jury in San Francisco found in March that Pao's lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins failed on all four counts, including the main issue of whether gender had been a consideration in the decision by the venture capital firm not to promote her.

The case captured attention in the U.S. tech industry, where women employees are in the minority. Adding to the interest in the case is that Pao sued a venture capital firm that has invested in some key technology companies in the U.S. The lawsuit has emerged as a symbol of the struggle by women against sexual discrimination in the workplace.

Pao, who is now interim CEO of social media company Reddit, gave notice in a filing Monday in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, that she is appealing the judgment entered on April 7 after the jury trial. The notice did not mention the grounds for the appeal.

Kleiner Perkins said in a statement that it remained committed to gender diversity in the workplace, but added that women in the technology sector would be "best served by focusing on this issue outside of continued litigation."

In a lawsuit filed two years ago, Pao alleged that she had been a victim of sexual discrimination at the firm, which retaliated against her when she complained about her treatment.

She claimed she wasn't promoted to the more lucrative role of senior partner at the company because of a pervasive culture of sexism. In May, Pao asked the court to to strike down Kleiner Perkins' demand that she reimburse nearly $1 million in legal costs. She described the recovery of costs as improper under the law as the venture capital firm had to prove that her case was frivolous or malicious.

The firm had earlier said it would waive all legal costs if Pao would agree not to seek an appeal.

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