USWNT Wins Equal Pay
February 23, 2022 by Phoebe Coddington
USSF Settles Equal Pay Lawsuit
Following a legal win in the district court for the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) in May 2020 when the district court dismissed a majority of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team’s (“USWNT”) claims in their equal pay class action, the USWNT filed an appeal. Shortly before the appeal was scheduled to be heard, the parties have been working on a resolution.
Yesterday, the parties announced they reached a proposed settlement. The proposed settlement – which is entirely contingent on the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement by the USWNT Players Association – requires the USSF to pay a lump sum of $22 million in back pay, which will be distributed to women players in a manner proposed by the team and approved by the court and to put $2 million into a fund for the player’s post-career goals and charitable efforts, with each player permitted to apply for up to $50,000.
The USSF also promised to provide an equal rate of pay between the men’s and women’s national senior teams in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup. The parties put out a joint statement where they acknowledged that this situation has “not been easy” and indicated the parties will be continuing to work together “to grow women’s soccer and advance opportunities for young girls and women in the United States and across the globe.” The next hurdle will be ratifying the CBA, but with a $24 million incentive and the promise of equal pay, it seems like the USWNT have largely won their quest.