US female players and US soccer settle equal pay lawsuit

A six-year battle over equal pay pitted key members of the World Cup-winning US women’s soccer team against their sport’s national governing body that ended on Sunday. Tuesday morning with a deal that included a multimillion-dollar payout to players and a promise by their federation to balance wages between the men’s and women’s national teams.

Under the terms of the deal, the athletes — a group that includes dozens of current and former women’s national team players — will share $24 million in payments from the federation, US Soccer. Much of that is payback, a tacit admission that the pay rates for men’s and women’s teams have been unequal for years.

Perhaps more notable, however, in the payout – for the players at least – is US Soccer’s commitment to equalize wages between the men’s and women’s national teams in all competitions, including World Cup. Cup, in the next collective bargaining agreement of the teams. That gap was once considered an uncontrollable distance that prevented any form of settlement; If it is closed by the federation during ongoing negotiations with both teams, the change could bring in millions of dollars for a new generation of female players.

The settlement depends on the ratification of a new contract between US Soccer and the women’s players’ union. When completed, it will process all remaining requests in sex discrimination lawsuit players who filed in 2019.

“It has not been an easy process to get to this point,” said US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone. “The most important thing here is that we are moving forward, and we are moving forward together.”

For US Soccer, the deal is an expensive end to a years-long legal battle that has ruined its reputation, damaged its relationship with sponsors and tarnished its relationship with some of its most famous stars, including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd. US Soccer is under no obligation to settle with the women’s team; a federal judge in 2020 had refute arguments of equal pay for playersstrip them of almost all their legal leverage, and the player’s appeal is unlikely to succeed.

For that reason, the settlement represented an unexpected win for the players: Nearly two years after losing in court in a devastating ruling, they were able to pull off not only an eight-figure settlement but There is also a commitment from the union to enact reforms. the judge dismissed.

Morgan, in a phone interview, called the settlement “a monumental victory for us and for the women.”

“What we set out to do,” she said, “is to acknowledge discrimination from US Soccer, and we get that through reimbursement in the settlement. We aim for fair and equal treatment in working conditions and we have achieved it deal with working conditions. And we set our sights on equal pay in the future for us and the men’s team through US Soccer, and we’ve achieved that. “

In exchange for the payment and US Soccer’s commitment to equal pay in futures contracts with their two teams, the women’s players agreed to release the federation from all remaining claims in the lawsuit. gender discrimination of the team.

This process can take months. The men’s and women’s teams have held joint negotiations with US Soccer, but for the deal to work – the federation is looking for a single collective bargaining agreement that includes both national teams – the association Men’s players will have to agree to share, or surrender, millions of dollars in potential World Cup payments from FIFA, world football’s governing body. Those payouts, set by FIFA and exponentially larger for the Men’s World Cup than for the respective women’s tournament, are at the heart of the equal pay split.

Cone, a former member of the women’s team, said in September that the federation won’t sign new collective bargaining agreement with one of the two teams that did not equalize the World Cup prize money. On Tuesday, the players’ association for the women’s team congratulated members and their attorneys “on their historic success in combating decades-long discrimination by the United States Soccer Federation.” United,” but made it clear that they plan to host US Soccer – and by extension the group – with their public promising equal pay support.

“Although the settlement reached today is an amazing success,” the union said, “there is still work to be done.”

The players’ long battle with US Soccer, not only their employer but also the federation that runs the sport in the US, has propelled them to the top. a broader fight for equality in women’s sports and garner support from fellow athletes, celebrities, politicians and presidential candidate. In recent years, players, teams and even athletes in other sports – Hockey gold medalist, Canadian professional soccer player, WNBA player – contacted US players and their unions for guidance in an effort to achieve similar returns in terms of wages and working conditions.

Many of those players and teams have succeeded in making big profits – Norway, Australia and Netherlands is one of several countries where soccer federations have pledged to close the pay gap between men and women – even as the case for American players continues.

The equal pay war began almost six years ago, when five star players filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accuses US Soccer of salary discrimination. The women, key members of a team that at the time were World Cup and Olympic champions, claimed to earn at least 40% of what the players on the national team earned. male is paid. The players – Morgan, Rapinoe, Lloyd, Hope Solo and Becky Sauerbrunn – said they were exchanged for bonuses, appearance fees and even meals while in training camp.

“The numbers speak for themselves, although US Soccer immediately counters them,” Solo said. Men’s tennis players, Solo said, “are paid more to appear than we are paid to win major championships.”

Almost immediately, football fans took sides in the fight, knocking US Soccer down the middle. The federation succinctly argued that men brought in more money and attracted higher TV ratings, and therefore deserved higher pay, but it soon abandoned its stance amid backlash. public outcry, player anger and a closer reading of equal pay laws.

At the time, the parties traded the first of what would be multiple shots in the media and in court. The federation won a ruling stopping players from boycotting the 2016 Olympics while it pressed for new contracts, but only after an embarrassing blunder that one of the players filed in court. unsuccessful home addresses and personal email accounts of about two dozen top players.

Subsequent deposits create uncomfortable exchanges that public relations savvy female players have weaponized on social media and in the tagline they sell on t-shirts. But they also made statements that the players would not condone.

In March 2020, months after the women’s team won a second straight Women’s World Cup, US Soccer’s lawyers argued before a court that competing for the men’s team required a lot of “skill.” and “responsibility” than the women’s team.

“To see that blatant error and sexism as the argument used against us is really disappointing,” Rapinoe said, adding, “I know we’re in a contentious war, but that’s over across the boundary. “

A settlement appears to be the way out for the parties since April 2020, when the judge in the women’s case, R. Gary Klausner of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, rejected the argument that they was systematically underpaid and said that US Soccer vindicated its claim that women’s team actually earned more “on a cumulative basis and per game average” than the men’s team during the years of litigation.

The women’s team, in one of the great ironies of the case, fell victim to its own success. In choosing to take on US Soccer when they were at the height of their power as World Cup champions, the women also chose the worst time to stack a few years of their salary versus a few years. of men as the men at the time were established in a competitive manner.

Due to ineligibility for the only Men’s World Cup that took place during the petition period, the men became ineligible for the multimillion-dollar performance bonus, even if the women collected bonus – twice – for their World Cup win and higher salary after successfully negotiating the contract.

The women vowed to appeal the judge’s ruling and the agreement on working conditions signaled compromise is still possible. At the time, Cone, a former women’s national team player, reinforced her nagging optimism that a bigger deal could put the fight behind US Soccer and the team, and hopefully Her hope is to build “another relationship” with the women’s team and the opportunity to “rebuild trust” between the parties. US female players and US soccer settle equal pay lawsuit

Fry Electronics Team

Fry is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button