A look at the United States Women’s Soccer Teams Wage Discrimination Lawsuit
Gender pay gap is a reality no one can deny although many people have arguments trying to justify the rampant wage discrimination. Some industries are more immune to gender pay gap and there are indeed a few professions where women get paid more than men. However, most females earn substantially less than their male counterparts, in the same industry and profession, catering to almost identical roles.
While most people are aware of the chronic problem, not many are familiar with the numbers. How much exactly do men earn more than women in the same profession? There are many cases from around the country that can answer the question. One in particular is the wage discrimination lawsuit filed by the United States women’s soccer team. Five members of the national women’s soccer team, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo, Becky Sauerbrunn and Carli Lloyd, complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the U.S. Soccer Federation of paying the women players much less than the men players. This lawsuit was filed in April 2016.
A separate lawsuit was filed in the district court by the Women’s National Team Players Association that sought to void the extension of a collective bargaining agreement they had with the U.S. Soccer Federation. This case has had closure with the court ruling in favor of the federation and the collective bargaining agreement. The court upheld the validity of the agreement and instructed the association that all players had to comply with the terms, including the no strike statute in the contract.
The wage discrimination lawsuit filed by the five women soccer players brings to light some surprising numbers. The lawsuit points out that men players get a five thousand dollars bonus even if they lose a friendly, but women get nothing of such sort if they lose or even if they manage to draw. Upon winning, the men players get as high as eighteen thousand dollars, but women players get less than fourteen hundred. There is also reference to the men and women teams playing at major competitions such as the World Cup.
The women’s team secured the second place in the 2011 World Cup and all of them were paid a sum of $1.8 million. This amount was evenly split among all the twenty-four players in the national team. The men’s soccer team failed to make it beyond the round of sixteen and yet they were given $5 million. In the 2014 World Cup that Germany won, the U.S. men’s team was given $35 million by the Federation Internationale de Football Association. A year later, when the women’s team won the World Cup, they were only given 5% of what the men got.
The lawsuit doesn’t just highlight how much more men get paid for the same job, but it also shows that men get paid much more even when they accomplish far less than women. This is not unique to soccer but what is surprising is the extent of discrimination. The lawsuit is null and void now as there is a new collective bargaining agreement in place between the Players Association and the Soccer Federation since April 2017.