The US women’s national soccer team has finally won the battle for equal pay. The team’s case has been in court for six years now. The team made the joyous announcement on Tuesday, saying they have finally agreed on the way forward to resolve the long-standing battle.
The women had filed a court case through USWNT due to class action gender discrimination that saw them earn less pay than their men counterparts in the USA men’s soccer team.
It’s a win for all women
This win was viewed as a women’s win in the entire US. Soccer fans felt motivated because equal pay would help the women footballers earn more for a better livelihood. The win is also likely to impact positively in soccer betting sites in the US as gamblers bet more for the women’s national soccer team.
In the agreement, US Soccer will pay $22 million to the women players. The lump-sum payment is in back pay and will be shared according to the formula the court will approve. The women’s team will also benefit from a fund that will help in post-career goals for the players. Each player will be free to apply up to $50 thousand to help them improve skills required in football or advance education goals.
2016, the year when the lawsuit started
The lawsuit dates back to 2016 when five top members of the US women’s soccer national team headed to court and filed a federal equal pay complaint. According to their complaint, the men in the national soccer team were earning thousands of dollars more than the women.
In 2019, another 28 women players filed a case against US Soccer. They complained that women players continually earned far less in every game event in the US soccer schedule. At this time, the women’s team had won two consecutive tournaments while the men’s team didn’t qualify for the World Cup 2018.
Their case was dismissed in May 2020 by the federal court. The judge cited key differences in the way women’s and men’s contracts are structured. The male and female teams had agreed on collective bargaining.
In July 2021, another group of players appealed to the ruling. They cited that the judge had overlooked the pay rates. The women also claimed that they were required to win more games than the men to receive a bonus.
Win through collective bargaining
Later, the USWNT Players Association entered into collective bargaining. An MoU was drawn between the players and the federation, which was to run to the end of March. After this time, the teams will head to court to present the MoU for ratification and approval.
Initially, the players had asked for $66 million but had to settle with $22 million after the collective bargaining agreement. Even with that big difference, the women’s team felt happy terming it a huge win.