NEW YORK—A US district court judge has denied without prejudice class action status for the plaintiffs suing MSLGroup and Publicis Groupe for gender discrimination.

The $100m claim was filed in 2011 by former MSLGroup healthcare director Monique da Silva Moore and four other plaintiffs, alleging that women were frequently overlooked for promotions and were not given the pay they were due.

Consequently, notices were sent to more than 100 current and former female employees from MSLGroup, with a further 28 women ultimately joining the suit. Last year, the plaintiffs sought a new class status under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which would have opened participation to hundreds more women.

However, Judge Andrew Carter denied the plaintiffs class action status yesterday, leaving open the possibility that they could proceed as individual lawsuits.

"We are pleased with Judge Carter’s ruling to deny the plaintiffs’ class certification motion," said an MSLGroup spokersperson.

"The fact is, women, as a group, were treated the same as men in the implementation of MSL’s policies and practices. We believe this lawsuit has no merit, and we will continue to defend against the remaining claims vigorously."