IPG Discrimination Suit Dismissed, Plaintiff Given Another Chance To Recast It

A New York federal court judge has granted Interpublic Group’s motion to dismiss a $50 million discrimination lawsuit filed by IPG legal department employee Joy Noel earlier this year.

But the case isn’t over yet. In his ruling, Judge Harold Baer Jr., of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan stated that Noel could re-file her complaint by this Wednesday (Dec. 19th) focusing on two of her charges, including a retaliation claim and an allegation that the holding company unlawfully passed her over for promotion.  

And Noel’s attorney Eric Sanders confirmed that he would be filing an amended claim on behalf of Noel. 

An IPG rep issued this statement: “We are delighted that the court granted our motion to dismiss in its entirety. The claims in this case remain without merit.” 

In his decision, Judge Baer stated that Noel alleged “a variety of broad but meatless allegations including lesser salaries and fewer benefits for blacks as opposed to less qualified Caucasian and light skinned employees.”



Noel also alleged that she applied for and was passed over for a promotion that ultimately went to a white female and that she was demoted after complaining about it, which she alleged amounted to an illegal retaliatory move on the part of IPG.

And while Baer said that much of Noel’s suit lacked substantive detail to back her allegations, he also said that she “paints a sordid picture of her workplace” and not all of her claims are “clearly frivolous.” Thus, Baer wrote, he was giving her the chance to file an amended complaint.

Noel filed her suit in April against IPG, two of her supervisors and a corporate human resources director. Initially Noel also named IPG chairman Michael Roth as a defendant but later withdrew him from the suit.

Noel’s job in a re-filed complaint, Baer wrote, would be to “describe how and when each individual defendant participated in the alleged unlawful conduct,” related to the failure-to-promote and retaliation charges.


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