Members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team are universal superstars in their sport. The team has legions of fans and a record of achievement that is unparalleled in global competition.
Here is one thing, though, that the women do not have: pay parity in comparison with their counterparts on the men’s national team.
And that chafes, especially given that the women are a bigger draw than the men and bring in a veritable trove of riches for the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Addressing gender inequity via USWNT’s federal lawsuit
Unsurprisingly, America’s premier female soccer players do not back down from a challenge. The team filed a federal gender discrimination lawsuit last year that challenged the male-female pay gap and dissimilar ancillary benefits received between the men’s and women’s teams. That litigation cited to violations of both Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the federal Equal Pay Act, respectively. Here are where things currently stand following a settlement agreement reached between the team and federation last week:
- Promised implementation of an improved benefits scheme relevant to matters like accommodations, training, playing venues, airfare and health care
- Continued sticking-point issues concerning gender-based pay inequity
The pay matter is far from being resolved and not about to go away. The above-cited court tossed the claim this past spring, stressing the team’s inability to retroactively challenge a currently active collective bargaining agreement that players had earlier endorsed.
The USWNT vows to fight on. A team spokesperson underscores “the central fact in this case that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job.”