The United States Women’s Soccer Team has come to an agreement with the U.S. Soccer Federation regarding its claim that the women’s team was not paid equally to the men’s team. Cherry Hill employment lawyers also report that the women settled claims regarding equal working and travel conditions as well. This came on the heels of the women’s World Cup win in 2015.
Over one year ago, the women’s team filed a claim with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after many years of negotiating informally for equal pay and equal working conditions. The team filed the complaint under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act alleging gender discrimination. The women alleged that they were not paid the same as the men’s teams since, although they earned a base salary, they earned less in bonuses when they won games. Therefore, this type of structure could result in a female player earning a salary that was almost equivalent to her male counterpart, but this is only because the women’s soccer team won many more games than the men. For example, when the women won a game, they would receive almost $1400 in bonus pay whereas a male soccer player, employed by the same entity, could receive up to $17,000 in bonus pay for a win under the men’s contract.
Additionally, the women alleged that they were subjected to different working conditions since their travel arrangements were often sub-par compared to the men and some of the equipment available to them was not of the same quality.
This case is different than other sports teams since both the women’s and men’s soccer teams are both employed by the same entity. It is not comparable to professional basketball, for example, since the WNBA and the NBA are two entirely separate entities. Therefore an Equal Pay claim could not be brought since the teams are not similarly situated as employees of the same employer.
The U.S. Soccer Federation explained that the disparity in pay between the women’s and men’s teams were not related to gender, but to the profitability of the teams since the women did not obtain the same amount of media attention in the past. Yet, in the coming year, the federation had predicted that the women’s team would actually generate more revenue in ticket sales than the men’s team.
Earlier in 2016, the team explored the idea of embarking on a strike, but a federal judge ruled that they were barred from striking as a result of a bargaining agreement signed by the women’s soccer team in 2005.
The players appear satisfied with the agreement reached. The agreement includes an increase in base pay, bonus pay, and improvements in working conditions. The women’s soccer team agreement follows a recent agreement between U.S. Hockey and its women’s team for better compensation after the women threatened to boycott world championships.
Marlton Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Men and Women with Equal Pay and Gender Discrimination Claims
If you or someone you know has reason to believe that they are not paid the same as a similarly-situated employee of a different gender, call the Marlton employment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. to find out your rights.