U.S. women’s national soccer team players are celebrating a big win for pay equity. The historic settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation includes a payout of 22 million dollars to be split among the players. The settlement also contains a commitment to equalize pay and bonuses to match the men’s team and an agreement to establish a $2 million fund to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and to grow the sport for women.
It was a long fight.
The legal battle began in 2016 when five star soccer players, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The players sued three years later, seeking damages under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The working conditions part of their suit was resolved in 2020, but the judge threw out their pay equity complaint, a big setback. The players appealed and this settlement was reached prior to the court date.
The settlement is contingent upon ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement with the members of the US Women’s National Team Players’ Association.
The U.S. women’s soccer team has won four World Cups since the program’s start in 1985, while the US men’s team haven’t reached a semifinal since 1930.
Reporting Courtesy of Jeannine Ramsey for Labor Radio
Photo Courtesy of Stickboy on Flickr