A Silicon Valley gender discrimination trial made headlines in San Francisco, California when jury selection began. Commenting on the female CEO of Reddit’s case against her former employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner-Perkins, a U.C. Hastings College of the Law professor said she was surprised that the lawsuit had not yet been settled out of court.
The professor said the trial would put everyone’s dirty laundry onto the public record. Companies typically settle gender discrimination out of court to maintain confidentiality.
The defense team for the venture capital firm is expected to attempt to discredit the plaintiff, who at one time was a junior partner. During jury selection, the team asked potential jurors what they thought about difficult employees. The director of Equal Rights Advocates said that these questions broadly hinted that the female plaintiff will be called aggressive and unwilling to cooperate by the defense team. She called this a “classic defense” against women who complain of workplace discrimination.
The director added that Equal Rights Advocates frequently hears discrimination complaints from women employed within the technology and finance industries. They are excluded from important meetings and prevented from making management decisions.
A person in a situation like this who sees a pattern of exclusion and hostility may have cause for a sex discrimination lawsuit. People have a right not to be treated differently because of gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or race. An attorney may be able to help someone determine if evidence can support a lawsuit. Damages for discrimination vary but usually involve compensation for lost income, especially after dismissal, and damage to someone’s career potential.
Source: ABC 7, “Jury Selection Begins in Silicon Valley Gender Discrimination Case,” Jonathan Bloom, Feb. 23, 2015