Legal Law

One goal for everyone: The US women’s national team’s fight for equal pay

(Photo by Maja Hitij / Getty Images)

The U.S. Women’s National Football Team (USWNT) is a force of power that dominates not only on the field at World Cups and Olympics, but also on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the media in general. These women have proven that women’s football is not only profitable, but also more profitable than men’s football, despite the fact that the US is one of the few countries in the world where football is not the most popular sport among citizens. And yet, year after year, championship after championship, women continue to be paid less than their male colleagues.

What sets this issue apart from other gender equality missions is that in addition to the fact that the USWNT wins almost every championship they compete in, former US Football Association (US Football) President Carlos Cordeiro (he resigned on March 12th). In 2020, due to setbacks related to the unequal pay of the USWNT, it was publicly said: “All female athletes deserve fair and equal pay.” Under the wage structure, the USWNT earn $ 3,000 less for winning a World Cup game than men for losing one.

The USWNT sued U.S. football in March 2019, citing years of unequal treatment and compensation. Originally, 28 members of the USWNT were named as plaintiffs. Since then, however, the action has evolved into a class action lawsuit that has included USWNT players since 2015.

In May 2020, Judge R. Gary Klausner of the US District Court for the Center District of California ruled that US Soccer not only paid the USWNT no less than its male counterparts, but believed that “the [USWNT] had been paid more than that, both cumulatively and on average per game [USMNT]. However, Klausner allowed the USWNT to continue its claims of unequal working conditions in terms of team flights, venue selection, staff support and hotels.

More recently, on April 12, 2021, Klausner approved a partial settlement on the matter. The battle of the USWNT teams continues, however, and they have made it clear that not only do they want to appeal the May 2020 decision, but they will continue to fight for equal pay, not just for football, but in the hope of doing themselves overall to use areas of business and life for equal pay.

Maya Cohen is an associate at Balestriere Fariello and has a background
in international law and in arbitration. She focuses her practice on
complex litigation from investigations to legal proceedings and appeals. You can
You can reach them by email at [email protected]

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