USWNT Loses Key Legal Battle With U.S. Soccer in Equal Pay Lawsuit
The USWNT failed to prove that they made less money than the USMNT
The United States Women’s National team received some definitive bad news on Friday, as a federal judge in California threw out most of the key points in the team’s equal pay lawsuit against U.S. Soccer. Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled that the USWNT did not prove a “a triable issue that WNT players are paid less than MNT players,” according to an ESPN report.
Klausner’s ruling pointed to the data that showed that the USWNT earned roughly $8,000 more per game than the USMNT on average between 2015 and 2019, which made their claim that they are paid less fall apart in court. The women’s team had argued that the reason they made more money in that period was due to playing more games, but the averages leaned in their direction, essentially tanking their argument.
The judge also said that the differences in payment from the federation came down to the differences in the collective bargaining agreements between the teams, not due to discrimination based on gender. The USWNT had argued that they would have made more money during that period, in which they won back-to-back Women’s World Cups, if they had been under the same CBA as the men.
However, Klausner’s ruling stated that the guaranteed contracts and other benefits that the USWNT receive made up the gap:
Merely comparing what WNT players received under their own CBA with what they would have received under the MNT CBA discounts the value that the team placed on the guaranteed benefits they received under their agreement, which they opted for at the expense of higher performance-based bonuses.
After the ruling came down, USWNT star Megan Rapinoe took to Twitter to assert that the fight for equal pay won’t end now:
We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY.
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) May 2, 2020
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