The World Cup champion U.S. women’s national soccer team has settled part of its lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) pertaining to discriminatory working conditions, but their claim of unequal pay remains.
Under the settlement, the USSF agreed to provide the women’s team comparable conditions to the men’s team when it comes to financial resources for travel and hotel accommodations, choice of venue for games, and specialized professional support services.
What remains unresolved is the bigger issue of unequal pay. In March 2019, members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team (WNST) filed a class action lawsuit against USSF claiming gender discrimination under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
However, last May, a U.S. District Court for the Central District Court of California dismissed their unequal pay claim holding that it was the women players who rejected a pay-to-play structure similar to the men’s team and accepted greater base salaries and benefits in return. Morgan v. United States Soccer Fed’n Inc., 445 F.Supp.3d 635 (C.D.Cal. 2020). Not only did the Court dismiss the WNST’s contention they were systematically underpaid, but the Court agreed with the USSF claim that the women actually made more money on a cumulative and per game basis.
Now that the parties have resolved the less controversial issue over unequal working conditions, the focus now will be on compensation. WNST stated that they will be appealing the District Court’s dismissal of their equal pay claim and are asking for $67 million in backpay and damages. The USSF has responded that the settlement is a positive step forward and that they are committed to equal pay matters and working together on contract negotiations.
McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. believes strongly that women deserve to be treated and paid the same as their male counterparts. If you believe you are being paid less than your male colleagues for doing the same job or being treated differently due to your gender, McOmber McOmber & Luber P.C. has experienced lawyers to help. You can contact us at our office in Red Bank, New Jersey at 732-842-6500 or our Marlton, New Jersey office at 856-985-9800 to find out more.