The U.S. women’s national team wasn’t cheering after it learned about its equal pay lawsuit being thrown out. (Photo courtesy of FIFA)
A federal judge Friday threw out the unequal pay claim by players on the U.S. women’s national team had against the U.S. Soccer Federation.
U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, however, allowed the players’ allegation of discriminatory travel accommodations and medical support services to go to trial.
A trial is scheduled for federal court in Los Angeles on June 16.
Led by U.S. striker Alex Morgan, the players have claimed they have not been paid equally under their collective bargaining agreement with the USSF to what the men’s national team gets under its labor deal. The women players asked for more than $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
According to the Associated Press, the players reportedly intend to ask the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Klausner’s decision, a move that could delay the trial.
Klausner, in a 32-page decision, granted in part a motion for summary judgment by the U.S. Soccer Federation. He threw out the Equal Pay Act allegations but left intact the Civil Rights Act claims.
“The history of negotiations between the parties demonstrates that the WNT rejected an offer to be paid under the same pay-to-play structure as the MNT, and the WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” Klausner wrote.
“Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA worse than the MNT CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT’s pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure.”
Klausner left intact claims the USSF discriminated in its use of charter flights, hotel accommodations, medical support services and training support services.
“We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY,” USWNT striker Megan Rapinoe wrote on Twitter.
Rapinoe has been one of the most severe critics of the USSF in its quest for equal pay.
“We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay,” women’s players spokesperson Molly Levinson wrote on Twitter. “We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women who play this sport will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender.”
“We have learned that there are tremendous obstacles to change; we know that it takes bravery and courage and perseverance to stand up to them.”