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News Posted on June 5, 2012

Professor Hillman Comments for Reuters on Silicon Valley Law Firm Gender Discrimination Suit

Professor Robert Hillman commented on a gender discrimination suit filed by a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers against the Silicon Valley law firm for a report in the online Reuters periodical Private Equity Hub.  The article notes that had the woman been promoted to general partner, she would have been unable to sue for sexual harassment or discrimination.

Professor Hillman explained that "to bring a sexual harassment claim federal or state law, you have to be an employee.  It would be impossible as a partner."  Whether or not junior partners qualify as co-owners and are therefore ineligible to sue under these laws is something firms have been fighting over "for 25 years," he added.

Robert Hillman is a Professor of Law and holds the Fair Business Practices and Investor Advocacy Chair at UC Davis School of Law.  He is a scholar in the fields of international transactions, securities regulation, and corporate and partnership law.

Private Equity Hub