Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 18, 2017 – Ann Lai, a former employee at a Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm, filed a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Binary Capital and its co-founder Justin Caldbeck, alleging that she and five other women have faced repeated unwanted sexual advances while working for the Venture Capital firm.
According to the complaint, Lai immediately began experiencing various incidents of discriminatory behavior toward women in the workplace when she joined the firm in 2014. Lai alleges that she and other women faced repeated unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances while working at Binary. Male employees including co-founder Caldbeck made many comments referencing her attractiveness, and witnessed similar comments directed toward other female employees. She also claims to have witnessed inappropriate behavior toward women during company outings.
However, when Lai raised her concerns with her supervisors, the company did not respond to her complaint. As a result, Lai announced that she was going to resign from the firm. After Binary co-founder Jeff Caldbeck persuaded Lai to continue with the company, she stayed on for a while longer. When nothing changed, she made plans to seek new employment.
“Women have a right to be treated fairly and with respect in their workplace,” says Strong Advocates Executive Director and Los Angeles employment lawyer Betsy Havens. “Ms. Lai is one of many professional women who have been forced to endure unwanted sexual advances by male superiors. By filing this lawsuit, Lai is taking her power back to get the compensation she deserves.”
Lai claimed that Caldbeck threatened that she would “never work again.” Three days later, Lai resigned. She searched for employment in the San Francisco Bay Area but allegedly was unable to secure a position at any company in her field. Eventually, she was able to find a job in New York.
In her complaint, Lai asserts that Caldbeck interfered with her job search by falsely telling employers that she had been fired for poor work performance. She also alleged that before leaving Binary, the defendants made threats to her reputation, asked suspicious questions about projects and denied her request for a work-related expense reimbursement check.
Additionally, she claims that Binary did not maintain a gender neutral environment and practiced behavior that went against anti-discrimination laws, such as making crude commentary about female employees’ attractiveness and implementing a dress code for female employees.
After an article in The Information detailing Caldbeck’s unwanted sexual advances toward dozens of female employees at Binary was published in late June, co-founder Justin Caldbeck and Matt Mazzeo, a partner at the firm, resigned.
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