Sexual harassment: Kleiner partner leaves
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A sexual harassment lawsuit that rocked Silicon Valley has taken another turn, with the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner who filed the suit saying the firm told her on Monday to leave and not come back.
The venture-capital firm, however, said she was still an employee.
I have been terminated from my job at KPCB, Ellen Pao wrote in a post on the question- and-answer site Quora late Tuesday.
On Monday afternoon, senior management told me to clean out my office, leave, and not come back.
Kleiner Perkins, however, said Pao remained on staff for now. Because of long-standing issues having no relationship or bearing on the litigation, Kleiner Perkins approached Ms. Pao to facilitate her transition, over an extended period of time, out of the firm, a Kleiner Perkins spokeswoman said in a statement.
The proposed terms, that did not require Ms. Pao to waive any legal rights or claims, are generous, fair, and intended to support Ms. Pao in a successful career transition.
Pao's lawyer, Alan Exelrod, said in a brief phone interview that he would file a new charge with California authorities later Wednesday, alleging Kleiner Perkins' move to keep Pao from work was retaliation for Pao's lawsuit. In addition, Exelrod plans to amend Pao's lawsuit to add retaliation and discrimination charges stemming from Kleiner Perkins' actions, he said.
Pao's May lawsuit against the firm alleged harassment and gender discrimination. It painted a picture of a firm where complaints against harassment were ignored, where a senior partner suggested that marrying the alleged harasser might be the solution to Pao's difficulties and where women were labeled buzz kills.
In its June response to Pao's suit, Kleiner Perkins denied Pao's charges. It also said Pao's performance was lacking in some areas, including in thought leadership.
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