Plaintiffs in MSL gender suit prepare to send notices

The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against MSLGroup and parent Publicis Groupe are expected to send notices inviting other women to join the action in the next few weeks.

The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against MSLGroup and parent Publicis Groupe are expected to send notices inviting other women to join the action in the next few weeks.

Both sides met in a court conference on July 20 to review the proposed content of the notice. The court selected the language to be included in the letter, so now the plaintiffs will revise it and finalize a list of recipients provided by the defendants. 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.

Once other potential plaintiffs are notified of the class action, they will have up to 60 days to opt into it. MSL and Publicis can still try to decertify the suit by arguing there was no widespread discrimination.

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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