US Women’s Soccer Team Receives $24 Million Settlement
This Settlement Represents a Win for Equal Pay
A series of disappointing rulings on equal pay for the Women’s National Soccer Team has ended on an unexpected high note recently, as the USWNT Players Association announced they had come to an agreement with the US Soccer Federation to settle the women’s team’s equal pay grievances to the tune of $24 million.
The History of the Lawsuit
In 2016, five players on the Women’s National Soccer Team filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that accused the US Soccer Federation of violating Title VII and the Equal Pay Act by paying the women’s team less than the men’s team, despite the fact that the women’s team brought in more revenue.
Three years later, in 2019, 28 members of the women’s team filed a lawsuit that alleged years of unequal treatment in both compensation and working conditions—such as flights, accommodations, medical treatment, and training.
However, the presiding judge rejected the claim of discriminatory pay disparity, based at least partly on his assessment that the women’s team had agreed to a less lucrative pay structure as part of their collective bargaining agreement.
The judge did allow the claim of discrimination in working conditions to stand, and in 2021, the US Soccer Federation settled with the women’s team with regard to these inequities.
And then, at the end of 2021, the women’s collective bargaining agreement expired. Players appealed the original decision, pointing out that the judge had failed to consider certain systemic disparities—such as that the women’s team had to win more games than the men’s in order to earn bonuses.
The Terms of the 2022 Settlement
By now, this had become a high-profile cause on social media—and chants of “Equal Pay” could regularly be heard in the stands during games. The US Soccer Federation was no doubt feeling the pressure.
The organization had expressed the hope that the issue could be settled out of court—and in February 2022, that’s exactly what happened. The US Soccer Federation agreed to pay $22 million to the named players in the suit, with another $2 million dedicated toward post-career charitable contributions for all the players.
The agreement is not quite finalized yet; that won’t occur until a new collective bargaining agreement is ratified. However, the US Soccer Federation has made a commitment to ensuring equal pay in the future for all players on the women’s team—including at the World Cup, where the women’s team has historically been awarded millions less than the men’s despite consistently outperforming them.
Are You Receiving Unequal Pay at Work? Contact a Philadelphia Employment Lawyer.
This settlement represents a historic win for equal pay—but the work is not done until the pay gap is eliminated entirely.
If you believe you are receiving less pay than coworkers because of your gender or any other discriminatory reason, a knowledgeable employment lawyer can help. Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at email@example.com for a free, confidential consultation today.
The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.