Plaintiffs in MSL gender suit send notices

NEW YORK: Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against MSLGroup and parent Publicis Groupe sent notices Thursday inviting other women to join the action.

NEW YORK: Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against MSLGroup and parent Publicis Groupe sent notices Thursday inviting other women to join the action.

The plaintiffs mailed the notices to 149 current and former female employees who have worked at MSLGroup at the VP or SVP level. Recipients will have 60 days from the date of the notice's mailing to join the lawsuit.

Once other potential plaintiffs opt into the class, MSL and Publicis can try to decertify the suit by arguing there was no widespread discrimination.

A US District Court judge ruled June 29 that the plaintiffs had presented enough evidence of widespread gender pay discrimination to invite other women to join the class action suit.

Monique da Silva, a former healthcare director at MSL, filed the $100 million class action suit in February 2011 seeking to represent women who worked at the agency from 2008 until the date of judgment. It alleged MSL and the holding company paid female professionals less; did not promote women at the same rate as male counterparts; and conducted discriminatory demotions, terminations, and reassignments for female staffers during the agency's 2009 reorganization.

In April, MaryEllen O'Donohue, Laurie Mayers, Heather Pierce, and Katherine Wilkins were added as plaintiffs to the suit.

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