A leading California corporation in the venture capital industry has recently been sued for gender discrimination by one of its female executives. Citing sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, the plaintiff is suing the corporation for punitive damages as well as compensation and legal fees. The woman claims that she endured gender discrimination for six of the seven years she worked for the company, despite filing multiple complaints and requests for transfer to senior officers and human resource personnel. After a brief intimate relationship with one of the male executives at the firm ended, the plaintiff claims that she was repeatedly omitted from corporate emails, meetings, and social networking events. She was harassed by several male partners who made inappropriate sexual advances and sent sexually oriented materials to her. In one encounter, a male senior partner told her that women would not be successful at the firm because they were too quiet and unassertive. The plaintiff also charges that 20 other female employees of the firm have been denied comparable compensation and promotion based on gender discrimination.
Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
Under Title VIIof the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal to discriminate against any individual based on their sex, race, religion, national origin, or disability. This law applies to the hiring, promoting, and compensation of both men and women. If a person feels that he or she has been denied an interview, job, or promotion because of their gender, race, religion, national origin, or disability, that person has the right to bring a discrimination suit against the employer.
In the case of the female venture capitalist, the burden of proof that discrimination has taken place falls on her. She must prove that the corporation acted unfairly and unlawfully by intentionally excluding her from corporate affairs and business agendas after she refused the sexual advances made by male partners. She must also prove that the other 20 women that have allegedly been unfairly compensated and passed over for promotion were victims of intentional gender discrimination. This won’t be an easy task. The corporation has taken the position that its thorough investigation into the matter has revealed no gender discrimination. Furthermore, the company is known as a leader in the industry for hiring and promoting women. There are currently 50 male partners at the firm and 12 female partners.
What Happens Next Could Change the Male-Dominated Industry
Though the current suit against this venture capital corporation is its first gender discrimination lawsuit, the outcome could help bring equality to what is a primarily male industry. The firm has had great success with capital investments in such big names as Google, Amazon, Netscape, Groupon, and Zynga, but is clearly dominated by male executives. If gender discrimination is at the core of this industry standard, significant changes could be ahead in the hiring, promoting, and compensation of female employees.
Pennsylvania Employment Discrimination Firm of Sidney L. Gold & Associates
The gender discrimination attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates actively seek justice for victims of sexual discrimination in the workplace. Our employment attorneys know the statutory laws and are well-versed in the case law on gender bias in the tri-state region that includes Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you or someone you know has been denied an interview, job, or promotion because of their gender, or have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, contact the Philadelphia gender discrimination attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates for a free consultation, or visit us on the web. We will review your case, advise you on how to proceed, and represent you in all aspects of litigation. Call 1-215-569-1999 to schedule an appointment with one of our employment discrimination attorneys or contact us online.