A federal district court dismissed a major portion of an unequal pay lawsuit filed by the U.S. Women’s National Team on Friday by granting summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Soccer Federation. The USWNT players were seeking $66 million in damages.
Judge R. Gary Klausner’s ruling cited the filing’s undisputed fact that the women’s national team averaged more in per-game and total payments over the 2015-2019 period in question. The women’s team argued they were paid lower bonuses for friendlies, World Cup-related games, and other tournaments, and that they would have made more under the men’s team’s collective bargaining agreement than they did under their own CBA.
The women’s national team averaged $220,747 per game in total payments (for a total of $24.5 million) in the period, while the men’s national team averaged $212,639 per game in total payments (for a total of $18.5 million).
In ruling on the pay issue, Judge Klausner noted that the women’s national team rejected an offer to be paid under the same model as the men’s team in favor of more guaranteed money, year-round salary and benefits. The USWNT CBA includes guaranteed annual salaries of at least $100,000 for 20 contracted players, while the men are paid only if they are called into camp and then participate in a match.
A trial for the remaining portions of the lawsuit, which includes allegations of differences in travel and hotel accommodations, is set to begin in June. A PDF of the full ruling is available here.