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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Law

USWNT Players Settle with U.S. Soccer Over Equal Pay

  • The plaintiff class will receive $22 million, while $2 million will be placed in a fund for which a player can apply to receive up to $50,000.
  • The settlement will be finalized in collective bargaining and then submitted to a court for approval.
US-Womens-Soccer
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

A multiyear legal battle between U.S. women’s national team players and the U.S. Soccer Federation over gender equity may finally see its conclusion.

On Tuesday, the two parties announced they’ve reached a settlement — reportedly worth $24 million in the historic equal-pay lawsuit first filed in March 2019.

The settlement will need to be finalized through a new collective bargaining agreement and then submitted to the district court. But here’s what the proposal would stipulate, according to multiple outlets:

  • The 61 women’s players in the plaintiff class would receive a total of $22 million.
  • Every player could apply for up to $50,000 worth of a $2 million fund for grassroots women’s soccer and post-playing endeavors.
  • In the future, men’s and women’s teams would receive the same rate for playing on the national team.

A Long Road

The lawsuit itself was the culmination of years of disputes between players and U.S. Soccer. 

Months after it was filed, the team won the World Cup and celebrated in a victory parade in New York that featured fans chanting “equal pay” and confetti cut from court documents raining down on Lower Manhattan.

In May 2020, the players’ side lost on the issue of unequal pay in a district court. They later settled with U.S. Soccer over working conditions.

Players appealed the pay-equity issue to the Ninth Circuit, where now-postponed oral arguments were set for March 7 of this year.

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