NEW YORK, April 1 A federal judge in Manhattan has denied a motion to grant class status to a lawsuit accusing French advertising company Publicis Group SA of discriminating against women in pay and promotions.
In a one-paragraph order, U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter denied plaintiffs' motion to certify a class in the lawsuit, and said his reasons would be presented in a later filing.
The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by Monique da Silva Moore, who was global healthcare director in the Boston office of the company's public relations division MSL Group.
A spokesman for Publicis could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan and seeks damages of at least $100 million. According to the lawsuit, women make up 70 percent of the company's public relations staff but hold only about 15 percent of leadership positions.
The decision rejecting class status comes ahead of a proposed merger between Publicis and Omnicom Group Inc, the largest U.S. advertising company.
Da Silva Moore had worked for MSL Group from 1999 through January 2010, when she said she was unfairly terminated after a four-month maternity leave.
The case is Monique Da Silva Moore v Publicis Groupe, MSL Group, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No 11-1279 (Reporting By Dena Aubin)