US women footballers file equal pay complaint

football

Five members of the US Women’s National Team have filed a wage discrimination complaint against the United States Soccer Federation.

US Soccer Federation employees Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Rebecca Sauerbrunn and Hope Solo have lodged the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The players say that they have filed the complaint on behalf of the entire US Women’s National Team, which won its third World Cup title in 2015.

The complaint refers to a number of elements of the US Soccer Federation’s compensation structure, including those relating to friendly matches, and World Cup- and Olympics-related compensation.

According to the filed complaint, the US Soccer Federation pays top-tier players on the US Women’s National Team 38-72% less than it pays to members of the US Men’s National Team for each friendly game played. Women earn a total of $30,000 for trying out for the US World Cup team and for making the team’s roster, whereas men earn $68,750 each for making the team’s roster. Female players earned $2m for winning the 2015 World Cup. Male players, who were knocked out in the round of 16, earned $9m each.

The claim also relates to compensation for elements such as sponsor appearances, and ticket monies. The claim states that men are paid $3,750 for each sponsor appearance and women are paid $3,000.

Footballer Morgan said: “This is not only about equal pay, we get paid less than half [than] our male counterparts, but also equal treatment. We deserve to play in top-notch, grass-only facilities like the US Men’s National Team, not dangerous turf fields. We want to have decent travel accommodation.

“We have dedicated our lives to this sport and our country and we love soccer and our fans. We think it’s high time for employers to truly address the inequality and do not only what is fair, but what is right.”

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The US Soccer Federation added: “Our efforts to be advocates for women’s soccer are unwavering. For 30 years, we have been a world leader in promoting the women’s game and are proud of the long-standing commitment we have made to building women’s soccer in the United States and furthering opportunities in soccer for young women and girls around the world.

“We are committed to and engaged in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that addresses compensation with the Women’s National Team Players Association, to take effect when the current CBA expires at the end of this year. US Soccer will continue to be an advocate on the global soccer stage to influence and development the women’s game and evolve Fifa’s compensation model.”