Neil Dhillon, managing director of MSLGroup in Washington D.C., just called an all-hands meeting at his offices to reassure staffers at the PR agency that the proposed class-action sex discrimination lawsuit filed against the company is false.About 30 to 35 people attended the impromptu, all-staff confab.
A source tells us Dhillon told his staff he was really sad and upset at the negative publicity generated by the suit.
A spokesperson for MSLGroup’s corporate HQ in New York tells us he was unaware of the meeting.
The suit’s public profile kicked up a notch with a federal court ruling a few days ago that allows the plaintiffs to send letters to MSLGroup’s female vice presidents and senior vice presidents, asking them if they want to join the suit.
The suit alleges that female employees of the Publicis Groupe-owned agency are systematically paid less than their male counterparts even though women make up 70% of Publicis’ 45,000-strong PR workforce worldwide. Only 15% of the Publicis’ senior management is female, according to the suit.
The case was filed by Monique da Silva Moore and Maryellen O’Donohue, both former svp/directors of MSL’s healthcare group. They claim MSLGroup president Jim Tsokanos judged female employees on their looks, took the younger ones out for drinks a bit too often but fired them if they got pregnant.
MSLGroup denies the claims and has been fighting vigorously in federal court to prevent the suit from going ahead. Related:
- YOU TELL US: Does The PR Business Discriminate Against Women?
- Inside the Explosive Sex Discrimination Case Targeting Publicis PR Chief Jim Tsokanos
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