"In a court filing on Friday, lawyers for JWT and WPP at David & Gilbert LLP said that JWT Chief Communications Officer Erin Johnson's claims [of gender discrimination] are 'baseless' and that she doesn't have enough evidence ... [Gustavo] Martinez' lawyers also filed a motion to dismiss the suit ..." - Nathalie Tadena, The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016. Here is the article.
Long story short, her bonus for the year 2014 was lower than for the previous year. She asked Martinez if the men's bonuses had also been lowered and she contends he didn't answer. It could be perceived that her performance was being questioned. This echoes the rancor of Ellen Pao in "Pao v. Kleiner" when she was terminated for not performing well as a venture capitalist.
Another peculiar action is that Johnson sent a text message to Martinez about 10 days before she submitted the letter which set the legal moves in play. In the message she said she had turned down another job offer. She remained loyal to him and looked forward to a good year together.
If this litigation isn't tossed and it makes it to trial, defense lawyers could make mincemeat of the plaintiff's motives, business sense, and emotional stability.
As soon as she filed the gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, Pao had a difficult time finding work. The job she landed at Reddit only lasted a short time before she resigned. She lost the case.
In 11 years of legal blogging, I have been following gender discrimination lawsuits. Frequently the female plaintiffs' careers suffer. Along with that, emotionally, litigation is a tough process.
One wonders if Johnson will also need to rebrand after the defense lawyers have a go at her. There is no predicting the outcome of a trial. It's always a risk. Yet, she took on that risk. That's the question which hovers over this whole enchilada. She might have had another job offer in hand. If not, with her background she could have landed a comparable or better job.