U.S. Women's Soccer Team Sues Federation For Equal Pay

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Sues Federation For Equal Pay”

All 28 players of the US women's national soccer team have filed a federal gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Los Angeles under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

In a class-action suit viewed by The Wall Street Journal, all 28 members of the team alleged gender discrimination, affecting not only pay but also where the team played and trained.

The team has won three FIFA World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals.

The suit states that the women filed on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated current and former women's national team players "who the USSF has subjected to its continuing policies and practices of gender discrimination".

Five USWNT players filed a wage discrimination lawsuit through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016 and with that matter yet to be resolved, the issue has now been escalated.

The US players association said it was not a party to the lawsuit but "supports the plaintiffs' goal of eliminating gender-based discrimination".

U.S. Soccer told ABC News it does not comment on ongoing legal matters.

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"In light of our team's unparalleled success on the field, it's a shame that we still are fighting for treatment that reflects our achievements and contributions to the sport", said USA co-captain Carli Lloyd.

USA midfielder Megan Rapinoe explained the problem from the players" perspective to The Associated Press: "At the heart of this whole issue we believe that it's the right thing. 'And while we have fought very hard and for a long time, whether that be through our CBA or through our players association, putting ourselves in the best possible position that we can to get the best deal that we can, we still feel that we don't have what we're trying to achieve, which is equality in the workplace'.

"Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that", Morgan said in a statement reported by The Associated Press.

This is not the first time the team has sought equality. The women's players argue they are required to play more games than the men's team, win more of them, and yet still receive lesser pay from the federation.

The plaintiffs are headed by Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn. The decision to take their case to federal court effectively ends the EEOC complaint. The women's team reached a new collective bargaining agreement with the federation in 2017.

The agreement included direct and bonus pay increases and per diems equal to the men's team, according to ESPNW, as well as improved travel and financial support for pregnant or adopting players. The negotiations also gave layers some control over some licensing and marketing rights. U.S. Soccer then canceled a match in Honolulu as its turf was "not suitable".

"The lawsuit is an effort by the plaintiffs to address those serious issues through the exercise of their individual rights", the statement reads.

The players union responded to Friday's lawsuit.

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