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Publicis employee slaps lawsuit on gender bias

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MUMBAI: In a curious case, Monique da Silva Moore, global healthcare director in the Boston office of the Publicis Groupe SA, has sued the company for $100 million saying that the French advertising company discriminates against women in pay and promotions.

"A Publicis woman?s place is in the back of the line, far removed from senior management positions, almost all of which are reserved for the men," Moore?s complaint observes.

The case, filed in the US District Court in Manhattan, seeks class-action status. Women make up 70 per cent of the company?s public relations staff but hold only about 15 per cent of leadership positions, the lawsuit adds.

The lawsuit says MSLGroup was in the midst of a reorganisation when Moore took her maternity leave. She says she was led to believe she had a position in her office in Boston, but that upon her return she was ordered to move immediately to New York without reimbursement for relocation expenses, forcing her to accept termination.

In her lawsuit, Moore seeks damages of at least $100 million and is the latest of many accusing companies of systematically favouring men over women in the workplace.

"We generally do not comment on pending litigation, but we can say that the fact that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed Ms da Silva?s charge reflects the lack of merit to her claims," a spokeswoman for MSLGroup said.

Da Silva Moore worked for MSLGroup from 1999 through January 2010, when she says she was unfairly terminated after a four-month maternity leave. She earlier worked for the company from 1991 to 1993, the lawsuit says.

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