(Business Insider) Interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao will be allowed to seek punitive damages in her gender discrimination suit against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Wall Street Journal reported.
On Saturday morning Judge Harold Kahn denied Kleiner Perkins’ motion to rule out punitive damages for Pao.
“Punitive damages can be as much as nine times the figure awarded for compensatory damages and are meant as a punishment for the discriminating party,” USA Today’s Elizabeth Weise reported Monday.
This means that between punitive and compensatory damages, Pao could be looking at up to $160 million, with up to $144 million coming from punitive damages, and then an additional $16 million that Pao is seeking in lost wages.
In his ruling sent out by the court, the judge wrote: “There is sufficient evidence from which a reasonable juror could conclude that Kleiner Perkins engaged in intentional gender discrimination by failing to promote Ms. Pao and terminating her employment and that Kleiner Perkins attempted to hide its illegal conduct by offering knowingly false and pretextual explanations for its decisions not to promote Ms. Pao and to terminate her employment.” The judge also said there is sufficient evidence that the jury could conclude Kleiner Perkins retaliated against Pao.