SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Ellen Pao, a former partner at prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is seeking $16 million for discrimination and retaliation in a lawsuit against the firm, a Kleiner attorney said in court.
The suit, filed in 2012, accuses the firm of holding her back from a promotion and better compensation after she complained about harassment by a male partner. The case helped spark a broad and ongoing discussion in Silicon Valley about sexism.
At a hearing in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, Kleiner attorney Lynne Hermle publicly disclosed the amount of damages sought for the first time. Hermle also said both sides have attempted to mediate the dispute.
“To say it was nonproductive would be an understatement,” Hermle said.
Kleiner has denied the accusations of discrimination and retaliation, along with accusations that it did not take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination.
Pao is currently interim chief executive officer at social news website reddit. (Reporting by Sarah McBride; Writing by Dan Levine; Editing by Alan Crosby)