A little over two months ago, former venture-capitalist turned interim CEO of Reddit Ellen Pao lost a high-profile sexism suit against investment firm Kleiner Perkins. Pao's suit alleged that over the course of the seven years she spent at the firm, she was repeatedly passed over for promotions and discriminated against both for her gender and for speaking out against workplace discrimination.
After winning the case, Kleiner Perkins sought close to one million dollars in legal fees, but has since offered to waive them should Pao not seek an appeal. A spokesperson from the firm commented on Pao's decision to appeal that "A 12-member jury found decisively in favor of KPCB on all four claims. We remain committed to gender diversity in the workplace and believe that women in technology would be best served by focusing on this issue outside of continued litigation."
According to Pao's attorneys, this "offer was not made in good faith and had no reasonable expectation of acceptance, given the extremely high liability exposure and the extensive attorney's fees that had been generated as of the offer." Her attorneys have filed a separate motion to have Kleiner Perkins' legal fees waived.
The case has rocketed gender and racial discrimination issues in the tech world into the spotlight, though Pao claims that she has no regrets about bringing her case to trial, though she "didn't plan on becoming a symbol. It was more [about] telling my story."
Gender and racial discrimination are serious workplace problems. If you believe that you are a victim of discrimination, contact an experienced employee rights lawyer to get your case reviewed and discuss next steps.