U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Files Wage Discrimination Claim
In the summer of 2015, the U.S. watched as the Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) won the World Cup, largely considered the most significant international soccer tournament. U.S. soccer fans then looked forward to seeing this team of impressively talented athletes again defeat the world in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, as the USWNT is considered a favorite for the gold medal. However, allegations of wage discrimination by the team against their employer, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), has caused strife and may even lead the team to boycott the Olympics if the dispute is not settled.
Five leading members of the team–including the two captains–have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stating the USSF has discriminated against them based on their gender when it comes to what they get paid and other conditions of their employment. The following are a few of the allegations involved in the claim:
- The women’s team is paid approximately 40 percent of what male U.S. national players are paid to play;
- The women receive significantly less in bonuses for performance in tournaments and international matches;
- The women athletes receive less in per diem and have substantially less comfortable accommodations when they travel; and
- The women are expected to play in possibly dangerous circumstances, such as on astroturf, while the men only play on high-quality, well-maintained grass fields.
While the USWNT claim they simply want equal pay and equal treatment for equal work, their work can hardly be considered equal to the men’s team. The men’s team has never won a World Cup or Olympic medal and often does not advance very far in these tournaments. On the other hand, the women’s team is considered to be the best in the world and regularly plays grueling tournament schedules to bring home cherished titles. This makes it even more perplexing why the USSF would repeatedly refuse to negotiate with the USWNT regarding fair and equal compensation.
If the USSF continues to stand its ground regarding the women’s team’s compensation, some of the key members of the team are considering boycotting the summer Olympics. In addition, if the EEOC finds violations of the Equal Pay Act or of Title VII, the USSF may face penalties and may have to pay a significant amount in back pay to the players of the Women’s National Soccer team.
Discuss Your Concerns With A Florida Employment Lawyer As Soon As Possible
Equal pay is a major concern across almost every industry in Florida and throughout the United States. Sometimes, you may suspect that your pay is unfair but may not be sure whether you have a valid claim. At the office of Plantation, FL employment lawyer Robert S. Norell, we will evaluate whether your employer has violated your rights under the law and will assist you in taking any legal action that is needed. Do not settle for unfair pay–call our office at 800-796-0849 as soon as possible for help.