Eight women can pursue a class action suit against pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG after a judge denied the company’s request to bar the group complaint.

The women are suing Bayer Corp., Bayer Healthcare Consumer Care, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and 12 individuals under the U.S. Equal Pay Act. Their complaint alleges that the company’s male employees are promoted and paid more than women in similar positions, and that women were penalized for pregnancy and childcare responsibilities.

U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh ruled on March 30 that the lawsuit “as a whole sufficiently shows that female employees felt adverse effects at work especially in terms of opportunities for promotion and the privilege of maternity leave, despite the existence of facially neutral policies.”

Judge Cavanaugh also said that there was sufficient evidence to show that Bayer may have violated Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. The final decision on class action status will come later in the litigation.