Settlement Near In SMG-Cahill Discrimination Case

Looks like Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest Group is on the verge of settling a discrimination law suit filed against it by former agency planner Angela Cahill.

Cahill, who had been a planner on the agency’s Walmart account filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan last year. She alleged that she was stripped of a number of responsibilities in 2011 after she became pregnant, and then was fired after she complained about it.

Cahill had argued that both actions violated New York State and New York City human-rights laws. Responding in late December, SMG asked Judge Allison Nathan to dismiss the complaint in its entirety, calling it a “meritless and vexatious action.”

Now, the two sides have agreed to a “settlement in principle” according to papers filed with the court July 22. The case has been discontinued until late August to give the parties time to finalize their agreement. Assuming that happens, the case would then be formally dismissed.



No comment from either side on the development.

The Cahill settlement would be the second discrimination suit that SMG has dealt with this year. Earlier it settled with Kristi Goldner, a former media supervisor on the agency’s General Motors account. Last year, filing in U.S. District Court in Michigan, Goldner complained that she had been recruited to SMG’s Planworks unit in 2006 based, in part, on what she said was a promise to be promoted quickly, only to be passed over several times.

Goldner was laid off after the agency lost the GM media agency account early last year, although she characterized the action as retaliatory, given that not all employees on the account were let go. In her lawsuit, she sought unspecified punitive damages, along with back pay. She settled with SMG in February.

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