US Federal Judge Approves Equal Pay For US Women’s Soccer Team

Equal Pay For US Women's Soccer
The federal Judge approved a proposed $24 million settlement between United States women soccer players and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).

United States (U.S) District Court for the Central District of California approved the settlement negotiated between both parties back in February.

Earlier, District Justice R. Gary Klausner rejected the suit, and now granted the motion for approval filed by the players. Justice in court documents wrote, ‘the settlement was fair, adequate and reasonable for the purposes of preliminary approval’, as reported by SFGATE. Further, Klausner wrote- the parties agreed that settlement funds will be distributed to players based on playing time.

On the approval, Alex Morgan, a U.S soccer player tweeted, “Equal pay for equal work with U.S Soccer. Such a historic moment for this team, so proud of all the work put in to make this happen.”

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Equal Pay For US Women’s Soccer: How the Class Action Lawsuit Started?

Soccer stars Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Alex Morgan, first filed a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2016. The players realised, they were paid unfairly, despite winning tournaments. The women’s team won World Cup twice (2015-2019). Whereas the U.S. men’s soccer team failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2018. Later, 28 national team players filed the class action equal pay lawsuit in March 2019, accusing the USSF of institutionalised gender discrimination. However, Justice Gary Klausner dismissed the suit.

According to the ESPN report, The women’s suit sustained a significant blow in May 2020. He ruled that during the class period in question, each women’s player actually made more money per game than their male counterparts.

The players had been seeking $66.7 million in back pay. Both parties agreed to a settlement of $24 million. The Federation settled to pay a lump sum of $22 million in back pay to the players, which will be distributed as proposed by the players and approved by the court. The remaining $2 million will be put into a fund for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) players’ post-career goals and charitable efforts, with each player able to apply for up to $50,000. The Federation also promised to provide an equal rate of pay between the men’s and women’s national senior teams in all tournaments.

It could set an example for other countries in narrowing the pay disparity in sports. This historic moment could help promote women’s soccer and advance opportunities for young girls and women in the United States and across the world.