Attorney: Firm's promotion decision preceded bias complaint

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An attorney for a Silicon Valley venture capital firm says it did not retaliate against a female junior partner by deciding not to promote her after she filed a gender discrimination complaint.

Lawyer Lynne Hermle told jurors during closing arguments on Wednesday that the decision by Kleiner Perkins Caufied & Byers about a promotion was made before plaintiff Ellen Pao filed her complaint.

Pao has accused the firm of discriminating against women and then retaliating against her by failing to promote her after she complained. She was later fired.

Her attorney, Alan Exelrod, said in his closing argument that Pao was an accomplished junior partner who was passed over for promotion because the firm judged men and women differently.