One week after a federal judge threw out their claim against the US Soccer Federation for equal pay, the US Women’s National Team have filed their widely anticipated appeal. The original lawsuit was filed by 28 women’s national team players last year seeking $66 million in damages.
In its ruling the court said that the women were paid “more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than the men’s team over the class period.”
However, federal judge Gary Klausner allowed the players’ case for unfair treatment in travel, housing and medical support to go to trial, which is set for June 16 in Los Angeles.
Klausner appeared to have agreed with the federation, which has previously said the women “specifically asked for and negotiated a completely different contract than the men’s national team.”
Motions filed Friday asked Klausner put off the June trial on the rest of the lawsuit while the team appeals the pay issue. If he agrees, a trial probably would be delayed until 2021 at the earliest.
Spokeswomen Molly Levinson, in confirming the appeal after a four-year battle, commented: “Equal pay means paying women players the same rate for winning a game as men get paid.”
“The argument that women are paid enough if they make close to the same amount as men while winning more than twice as often is not equal pay.”
“The argument that women gave up a right to equal pay by accepting the best collective bargaining agreement possible in response to the Federation’s refusal to put equal pay on the table is not a legitimate reason for continuing to discriminate against them.”
Megan Rapinoe, the public face of the US women’s team, told ABC the men’s contract was never offered to her squad.
“If we were under the men’s contract, we would be making three times more,” she argued.
“You can look at the total compensation and say, ‘Oh, the women’s team made a little bit more.’ In that time that we made just a little bit more, we’ve won two World Cups and we’ve won just about every single game that we’ve played in. So the rate of pay is just so different. And it’s just so frustrating. To be honest, I think so many women go through this.
“The men’s contract was never offered to us and certainly not the same amount of money, so to say that we negotiated for our contract and that’s what we agreed to, I think so many women can understand what this feeling is of going into a negotiation knowing equal pay is not on the table. Knowing anywhere close to your male counterparts is not even on the table.”