July 21, 2020 – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – Emily Kramer, former Carta executive and VP of Marketing, filed suit against the equity-management software maker today, alleging that Carta discriminated against her on the basis of gender, retaliated against her, wrongfully terminated her in violation of public policy, violated the California Equal Pay Act, and failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination, retaliation, and harassment.
Kramer is represented by Sharon Vinick and Hilary Hammell of Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP, a boutique law firm in Oakland which specializes in representing employees in workplace disputes.
Carta, which is now valued at more than $3 billion, having raised more than $600 million from leading investors like Andreesen Horowitz, Lightspeed Ventures, and Goldman Sachs, promotes itself as a company dedicated to making corporate ownership more equal and democratic. As the suit alleges, Carta sought to establish itself as a leading voice and “brand” in exposing unfair equity practices, specifically gender inequities, and it did so under the leadership of Plaintiff Emily Kramer. According to the lawsuit filed today in San Francisco County Superior Court, during the same time Carta was claiming leadership on equity practices, the company paid Kramer less than men in similar positions, issued Kramer less equity than similarly-situated males, repeatedly refused to promote her while offering promotions to less qualified men, subjected her to sexist and subjective criticism about her “style” (despite her strong performance), and responded with escalating hostility when she pointed out these inequities.
Ms. Kramer explains about her time at Carta, “I thought my performance would speak for itself and I could use my voice to drive change internally, while educating people about fair equity practices externally. I wrestled with what I considered hypocrisy at Carta daily. I knew we weren’t interviewing or hiring more women onto the executive team even as the company was exhorting others to make change. I knew my compensation wasn’t fair. From what I experienced, this was due to my gender and the expectation that I was supposed to act a certain way because I’m a woman. I stayed as long as I could because I cared about my team and educating people about equity. I kept going thinking things would improve. But the more I spoke up, the worse it got.”
Sharon Vinick, lead counsel on the case says, “Carta’s mission of reducing income inequality and democratizing ownership of corporations is a laudable goal. But, we believe that equal treatment of employees must start from the inside. Based on the detailed allegations in the complaint, we believe the evidence will show that Carta’s discriminatory treatment of Ms. Kramer fell far short of matching its stated goals.”
For further information regarding the lawsuit, call Sharon Vinick at 510-318-7702.