A Los Angeles federal judge Monday approved a partial settlement between the U.S. Soccer Federation and players on the women’s national team over unequal working conditions.
As a result of the settlement, the female players will receive the same flights, hotel rooms and staff support as the men’s national team.
More than two dozen players on the U.S. women’s national soccer team sued the USSF in March 2019, alleging that the players were subject to “institutionalized gender discrimination,” including violations of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The 28 plaintiffs, who sought more than $66 million in damages, include stars such as Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, as well as reserve players.
Last May, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner rejected allegations that the women were systematically underpaid by USSF, but allowed claims of discriminatory working conditions to go forward, resulting in Monday’s approval of the partial settlement.
USSF said that the organization remains hopeful that the sides can come to a resolution on equal pay outside of the court system. If not, the claims will likely be reviewed by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“U.S. Soccer is 100% committed to equal pay,” the federation said in a statement. “We have offered the U.S. women’s national team the identical compensation provided to our men players for all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer. Unfortunately, the (team) has not accepted our offer or our long-standing invitation to meet to try to find a resolution unless U.S. Soccer first agrees to make up the difference between the Men’s and Women’s World Cup prize money.”
According to the 24-page complaint, USSF “utterly failed to promote gender equality. It has stubbornly refused to treat its female employees who are members of the WNT equally to its male employees who are members of the (men’s national team).”
The players sought equitable pay, wage adjustments, back pay and special damages for lost compensation.
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