A federal court in Los Angeles gave preliminary permission last week for a $24 million wage discrimination judgement, which was a significant victory for the US women’s soccer team.
Players who claimed that their male counterparts were being paid roughly four times more than them filed the original lawsuit in 2016.
Three years later, the case was filed. Under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, damages were demanded.
In 2020, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner first rejected the players’ contention, finding that, over the relevant time period, the U.S. women’s team had earned more than its male counterparts despite playing more games.
After an appeal was successful, the litigation was continued.
The players’ representative, Molly Levinson, tweeted that they were “pleased that the Court granted preliminary approval for the Historic Equal Pay Resolution today.”
She continued, “We look forward to celebrating this hard-fought victory for women and girls at the final hearing,” which is scheduled for December 5.
The settlement, which was first revealed in February, calls for splitting $22 million among the players’ suggested sums.
The remaining $2 million will be invested in a U.S. Soccer Federation fund that will help players when their soccer careers are over and support philanthropic projects that work to increase possibilities for women in the sport.
Athletics is not an exception to the long-standing problem of the gender pay gap.
When the U.S. Soccer Federation revealed a plan for equal compensation between its men’s and women’s teams in 2022, it made history.
However, many other sports are still lagging behind.
Brittney Griner’s incarceration in Russia has raised these issues, and many are wondering why the WNBA star needed to go for additional job abroad over the offseason in the first place.
According to Basketball Reference’s stats for the 2021–2022 season, the average NBA player makes $5.3 million annually, compared to $130,000 for WNBA players.
According to a 2020 Pew Research Center research, women make 84% of what men make in the workforce as a whole.
According to Payscale’s 2022 State of the Gender Earnings Gap report, which shows women earning 82 cents for every dollar earned by a male, women’s pay, however, dropped farther behind during the epidemic.
Judge Klausner said in his statement that although the U.S. women’s soccer team members only received little more than a third of the $66.7 million in back compensation they had requested, “The uncontested settlement agreement meets the plaintiffs’ aim for litigation: equal pay.”