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Sex in the Valley

Sex in the Valley

This Sexual Harassment Suit Against a San Francisco VC Firm Is Horrifying

Mr. Haag. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Naturally, it’s the moment that everyone decamps for SXSW that scandal breaks. Fortune reports that the San Francisco venture firm CMEA Capital and former chief operating partner John Haag have been slapped with allegations of sexual harassment, racial harassment and retaliation by a trio of executive assistants.

Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins came as a shock largely because the prestigious firm has long had a good-guy reputation. This lawsuit, on the other hand, is jaw-dropping for its volume of allegations that are just disgusting. It reads like House of Cards meets Van Wilder. If even a handful of these claims are true, it’s enough to obliterate all our Lean In-inspired optimism. Read More

Sex in the Valley

Another Request for Arbitration Rejected, Kleiner Vows to Appeal

Ms. Pao (Photo: Kleiner Perkins)

Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination case: Still headed for the courtroom. Eventually. Maybe.

When last we checked in with the legal wrangling over Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit against Kleiner Perkins, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn had rejected the storied VC firm’s arguments for arbitration but invited the firm to ask again in a hearing scheduled for today.

But it sounds like Kleiner’s legal representatives couldn’t quite close the deal. Reuters reports that, rather than ruling, Judge Kahn told Kleiner Perkins he didn’t buy their arguments and added that they had the option of appealing if they wanted. Read More

Sex in the Valley

Chalk One Up for Ellen Pao: Court Rules Kleiner Perkins Can’t Make Her Arbitrate

Ms. Pao (kpcb.com)

When VC firm Kleiner Perkins filed its response to partner Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit (nearly a month ago now), included in the flurry of legal documents were requests to require Ms. Pao to submit to binding arbitration.

Now the Mercury News reports that the presiding judge has spoken–tentatively, at least–and she’ll be required to do no such thing. Kleiner argued that partners signed arbitration agreements with each of the firm’s new funds; Ms. Pao’s lawyer rejoined that only an umbrella agreement would do, and his logic apparently carried the day.

Of course, we should also note that lawyers for both sides are still due at a hearing today, where Kleiner has a chance to try talking the judge into reversing his ruling. Maybe somebody’s got an ace up his sleeve? Read More

Sex in the Valley

The Number of Big-Name Female Hires at Kleiner Perkins Since Ellen Pao’s Lawsuit Just Doubled

Ms. Tilenius (Photo: LinkedIn)

The latest addition to the Kleiner Perkins team, according to AllThingsD: Google’s Stephanie Tilenius, who’ll be a new executive-in-residence. And we can’t help but notice that she’s the second splashy female hire since Ellen Pao filed her molotov cocktail of a discrimination suit. Last month, the firm poached Square’s head of product, Megan Quinn. Read More

Sex in the Valley

Kleiner Perkins ‘Vigorously Denies’ Ellen Pao’s Gender Discrimination Claims

Ms. Pao (kpcb.com)

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has filed a response to partner Ellen Pao’s allegations of gender discrimination and boy howdy, they did not hold back. We’ve obtained a copy, and here’s the meat and potatoes:

“KPCB generally denies each and every material allegation of the Complaint and further denies that Plaintiff has been damaged in the manner alleged, or in any manner or amount.”

The firm also “vigorously denies” that it discriminated or retaliated against Ms. Pao, as well as claiming that Ms. Pao never reported anything prior to 2011, and they also deny that she complained in 2007.

The response goes into great detail, refuting many of Ms. Pao’s accusations point-by-point: Read More