US Women's Soccer Team Agrees on Equal Pay Dispute Next Steps


The U.S. women’s soccer team have tentatively agreed to mediation of their equal pay discrimination lawsuit when the World Cup ends, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

In March, 28 players from the team filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation demanding a pay raise as well as back pay for previous years in which they earned less money than their male counterparts.

The players claim the pay disparity between the men’s and women’s teams violates both the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This is not the first legal action players from the women’s team have taken on the issue.

In 2016, five players — Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn — filed a complaint of wage discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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However, the women agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement the following year — two years prior to the current lawsuit.

Under the current deal, the women’s team players are paid $3,600 per game and the players from the men’s team make $5,000 per game in base salary, according to the women’s lawsuit.

The maximum bonuses also are lower for the women’s team.

In a given year, if the women were to win all 20 of their scheduled friendly matches, they would receive $99,000. If the men were to do the same, they would make $260,000.

Should the U.S. women's team be paid as much as the men?

The World Cup bonuses also are higher on the men’s side, according to the lawsuit.

The men got $55,000 apiece as a bonus for making it to the Round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup. One year later, the women won the 2015 World Cup and earned $15,000 each in bonuses.

It is worth noting, however, there is a big difference in the skill level and popularity of men’s and women’s soccer.

The 2018 men’s World Cup received 3.6 billion unique viewers worldwide — far more than the 764 million the women got in 2015.

The revenue is also much greater in the men’s World Cups.

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According to Forbes, in the 2010 men’s tournament earned $4 billion in worldwide revenue, while one year later, the women’s World Cup brought in a small fraction of that amount — about $73 million.

The skill level between the two teams is also vastly different: The U.S. women lost 5-2 to the FC Dallas under-15 boys team in 2017.

The U.S. women are favored to win the World Cup this season. If they do so, it will be their fourth victory in eight World Cups.

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Tom is a freelance writer from Massachusetts' South Shore. He covers sports, culture and politics and has written for The Washington Examiner, LifeZette and other outlets.
Tom is a freelance writer from Massachusetts' South Shore. He covers sports, culture and politics and has written for The Washington Examiner, LifeZette and other outlets.
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