FILE - In this April 4, 2006 file photo, venture capitalist John Doerr poses for a portrait with partner Ellen Pao outside of their office in Menlo Park, Calif. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn has scheduled a hearing Friday, July 20, 2012 to consider the firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfied & Byers' request to move Pao's sexual harassment lawsuit from court to arbitration, which are usually litigated confidentially. Pao filed a lawsuit in May alleging senior partners ignored her complaints that a spurned romantic interest at the firm was harassing her. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
SAN FRANCISCO - A judge has ruled one of Silicon Valley's oldest venture capital firms must fight a gender bias and retaliation lawsuit in open court.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn on Friday denied Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers' request to move the lawsuit to arbitration, which is typically litigated and decided behind closed doors.
Ellen Pao, a junior partner at the firm, filed the lawsuit on May 10 alleging Kleiner senior partners failed to stop a colleague from harassing her after she broke off a sexual relationship with him.
She further alleges the firm fostered a culture that made it difficult for women to advance at the same rate and pay as male colleagues.
Kleiner, Perkins has denied the allegation in court filings, alleging that Pao's job performance, not her gender, held her back.