Female soccer players file wage complaint against U.S. Soccer

Leading stars of the United States women’s national team have filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against U.S. Soccer, claiming wage discrimination relative to the men’s national team. Carli Lloyd told Matt Lauer on the “Today” show, “I think that we’ve proven our worth over the years. Just coming off of a 2015 Women’s World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large. And we want to continue to fight.”

The four other players that filed the complaint are goalkeeper Hope Solo, striker Alex Morgan, playmaker Megan Rapinoe and central defender and co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn. They feel that he women’s national team, which enjoys a national popularity that often exceeds the men’s in the mainstream, drives far more revenue to the U.S. Soccer Federation than they are compensated for. According to an investigation by the New York Daily News, the financial constructions that channel those incomes are so tousled that there’s no telling what money is brought in by the women and how much of it by the men. The women feel though that they have been stonewalled by the federation in their attempts to see the financial statements for themselves.

The women point to the vast disparity in performance bonuses.  The men’s team received more, a shared $2.5 million just for reaching the World Cup, than the women did for winning the entire thing, $1.8 million. A similar gap exists in all other bonuses as well. The men sometimes collect ten times more for winning a friendly than the women do. However, the women and not the men, , also receive a full-time salary from the federation of up to $72,000, not including up to hundreds of thousands in bonuses they typically collect, a baseline guarantee the men don’t enjoy. They are also compensated by the federation for participating in the National Women’s Soccer League.

This complaint comes just months before the women will attempt to win a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro The two sides had filed a suit and counter-suit against each other over the players’ right to strike. The players and the federation are hashing out a new collective bargaining agreement after the last one expired in 2012.

The issue comes down to if women generate less money than men, are they entitled to the same pay for the same work. FIFA pays out a good deal more prize money for the men’s World Cup than it does for the women’s. FIFA awards a Women’s World Cup-winning team $2 million.  However, when Germany won the men’s World Cup in 2014, it collected $35 million.

If you feel that you or someone you work with has been denied the pay that you are entitled to, you should contact an experienced and caring Tennessee employment and wage attorney at the Higgins Firm. We know that you work hard to earn your money and will work to make sure that you receive the compensation you need for the work that you have done.

Please contact us today online or by calling 800.705.2121 to discuss your legal options.

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