USA Women to appeal court ruling on equal pay after settlement on working conditions approved

The US Soccer Federation (USSF) settled a lawsuit over working conditions and submitted it to the Federal Court in Los Angeles in December last year; their equal pay claim, which has been publicly supported by the union that represents male players, was rejected by a court in May 2020

The USA Women's side won the 2019 Women's World Cup after beating the Netherlands in the final
Image: The USA side won the 2019 Women's World Cup after beating the Netherlands in the final

USA Women will now turn their attention to appealing the court ruling on equal pay after having their settlement over equal working conditions approved.

The US Soccer Federation (USSF) settled a long-running lawsuit over working conditions and submitted it to the Federal Court in Los Angeles in December last year.

Their equal pay claim, which has been publicly supported by the union that represents male players, was rejected by a court in May 2020.

United States forward Megan Rapinoe (15) during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match against Argentina, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) 1:36
Appearing before a congressional panel last month, World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe called for action to end gender inequality in the USA

"We are pleased that the Court has approved the equal working conditions that the USWNT Players have fought for many years to achieve," Molly Levinson, spokeswoman for the players of the US Women's National Team (USWNT), said.

"Finally, giving these athletes access to facilities, training, care, and professional support is the next step needed in the long and hard work to grow the game of women's football.

"Now that this is behind us, we intend to appeal the Court's equal pay decision, which does not account for the fact that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job.

"We are committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve and our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and our country."

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The USSF said it hoped to reach a settlement with the women's national team over the pay dispute and insisted the organisation was "100 per cent committed to equal pay".

A statement from US Soccer read: "We expected the Women's National Team to appeal the summary judgment ruling that determined U.S. Soccer has paid the USWNT fair and equitable compensation. We remain hopeful that we can come to a resolution outside of the court system.

"U.S. Soccer is 100 per cent committed to equal pay.

"We have offered the USWNT the identical compensation provided to our men's players for all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer.

"Unfortunately, the USWNT has not accepted our offer or our long-standing invitation to meet to try to find a resolution unless U.S. Soccer first agrees to make up the difference between the Men's and Women's World Cup prize money, which is determined, controlled and paid for by FIFA.

"Our request to meet still stands, and we hope the USWNT will accept our invitation very soon. We look forward to working together to chart a positive path to grow the game both here at home and around the world."

FILE - In this Sunday, July 7, 2019 file photo, United States' Megan Rapinoe poses with her individual awards at the end of the Women's World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France. (AP Photo)
Image: Rapinoe poses with her individual awards at the end of the Women's World Cup in 2019

The USA women's national team players sued their governing body in 2019, alleging gender discrimination in a lawsuit that contained complaints over wages and playing conditions.

The complaint loomed large as the team went on claim their fourth World Cup title in France that summer, and fans backed them up, chanting "equal pay" during the World Cup final match.

Last month, USA Women forward Megan Rapinoe renewed her call for equal pay, appearing before a congressional panel and pledging to "carry this torch" alongside her team-mates.

Rapinoe told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that the World Cup winners had exceeded the accomplishments of their male counterparts but received inadequate compensation and playing conditions.

"We put in just as much work, we train just as hard. We compete to bring trophies back to the United States, bring gold medals back to the United States," she said.

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