A former human resources employee at DLA Piper claims that she was fired early this year after complaining that she was “physically afraid” to be near Louis Lehot, an influential Silicon Valley rainmaker who recently left the firm amid sexual assault allegations brought by a junior partner.
Lawyers at Wigdor LLP, the same firm that represented DLA Piper partner Vanina Guerrero in raising allegations about Lehot, on Monday lodged a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of an unnamed former human resources manager at the firm. According to a letter attached to the former employee’s EEOC charge, she claims that Lehot threatened her after she refused to fire an administrative assistant he wanted terminated. The former HR employee further claims that she was fired after she complained to firm management that she feared being near Lehot or left alone with him.
The new filing comes the same day as Lehot made his first public comments since Guerrero’s accusations against him became public. Guerrero accused Lehot of sexually assaulting her multiple times in the months after he recruited her to join the firm in an open letter published earlier this month. She also called on DLA Piper to release her from her mandatory arbitration agreement with the firm.
Lehot was fired from the firm several days after Guerrero went public with her story in an open letter to DLA Piper’s leaders posted on the website Medium. DLA Piper has since put Guerrero on leave, pointing to allegations that she harassed another lawyer at the firm.How are you illustrating differentiation to clients and potential lateral targets? How are you measuring performance against peers? Use Legal Compass to benchmark a firm against its competitors, unearthing unique insights about performance, partner retention, market penetration and more. Click to log in, or begin your free trial.
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On Monday Lehot accused Guerrero of “exploiting the #MeToo movement to cover up her own issues.” He also provided more than 40 pages of purported emails to reporters for The American Lawyer that show friendly exchanges between him and Guerrero during the period when she alleged she was assaulted repeatedly.
Lehot could not immediately be reached for comment on the allegations raised in the new filing with the EEOC.
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