Five top women players accuse U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination
Five key members of the United States women’s national soccer team, the reigning Women’s World Cup and Olympic champions, plan to file a federal complaint Thursday charging U.S. Soccer with wage discrimination.
In the filing, the five players will contend that the women’s team is the driving economic force for U.S. Soccer, the governing body for the sport in America, even as its players are paid far less than their counterparts on the men’s national team, their lawyer, Jeffrey Kessler, said.
The players involved in the complaint are Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo.
In their complaint — which will be submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination — the players plan to ask for an investigation of U.S. Soccer. But in taking official action, they will also thrust their team into a debate roiling in several sports, notably professional tennis, about equal pay for men and women.
Citing budget figures released last month by U.S. Soccer, Kessler said the players would contend that they earned as little as 40 percent of what players on the United States men’s national team earned even as they marched to the team’s third world championship last year, and that they were shortchanged on everything from bonuses and appearance fees to per diems.
Though only five players signed the complaint, they said they were acting on behalf of the entire women’s team, saying they are all employees of U.S. Soccer through their national team contracts.
The women’s players are salaried employees — the top players are paid about $72,000 a year by the federation — but they contend that even with that extra income, their bonus structure means they still earn far less than their male counterparts, who receive money from U.S. Soccer only if they are called to the national team.
From: New York Times