US Women's Soccer Team sues for equal pay - Legal Justice Warriors

Diabeetus

Ice cream and apple pie
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/sports/womens-soccer-team-lawsuit-gender-discrimination.html?module=inline
The Article said:
More than two dozen members of the United States women’s national team sued U.S. Soccer in federal court on Friday.

Twenty-eight members of the world champion United States women’s soccer team significantly escalated their long-running fight with the country’s soccer federation over pay equity and working conditions, filing a gender discrimination lawsuit on Friday.

The suit, in United States District Court in Los Angeles, comes only three months before the team will begin defense of its Women’s World Cup title at this summer’s tournament in France. In their filing and a statement released by the team, the 28 players described “institutionalized gender discrimination” that they say has existed for years.

The discrimination, the athletes said, affects not only their paychecks but also where they play and how often, how they train, the medical treatment and coaching they receive, and even how they travel to matches.

The players involved — stars like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd and their teammates — include some of the most accomplished and best-known female athletes in the world, members of a team that has been a leading force in women’s sports for more than a generation.

The players’ continuing battle with U.S. Soccer, which is not only their employer, but also the federation that governs the sport in America, has thrust them to the forefront of a broader fight for equality in women’s sports. In recent years, players, teams and even athletes in other sports — American hockey gold medalists, Canadian soccer pros, W.N.B.A. players — have reached out to the United States players and their union for guidance in their efforts to win similar gains in pay and working conditions.

“I think to be on this team is to understand these issues,” Rapinoe said in a telephone interview. “And I think we’ve always — dating back to forever — been a team that stood up for itself and fought hard for what it felt it deserved and tried to leave the game in a better place.”

Friday’s legal action is the latest flash point in a yearslong fight for pay equity and equal treatment by the national team, which has long chafed — first privately, but increasingly publicly — about the compensation, support and working conditions it receives while representing U.S. Soccer. The women’s players argue that they are required to play more games than the men’s team, that they win more of them, and yet still receive less pay from the federation.

For decades, U.S. Soccer has been a world leader in its support for women’s soccer; its investment of time and resources has made the United States, which is a three-time world champion and a four-time Olympic gold medalist, the dominant power in the women’s game. But throughout that period, generations of women’s national team players have complained that the federation’s financial support and logistical infrastructure have lagged behind that of the more high-profile men’s team.

Those grievances have never been far from the surface; an earlier generation of top women’s players angry about their pay boycotted a tournament in Australia in January 2000, only months after a World Cup victory had made them the toast of American sports. The dispute between the team and the federation burst into the open more recently as an increasingly emboldened and activist women’s team took on U.S. Soccer and FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, over everything from artificial turf fields to World Cup bonus payments to refereeing standards.

More than two dozen members of the United States women’s national team sued U.S. Soccer in federal court on Friday.

The players’ prominence and willingness to leverage their profiles and enormous social media followings in support of their cause have paid dividends: FIFA doubled the prize money pool for this summer’s Women’s World Cup only after the United States team’s complaints drew attention to how far it lagged behind the pool for the much richer men’s event, and the team has not played a match on artificial turf, a surface many players disdain, since 2017. The United States women flew on a chartered flight — once an unthinkable luxury for the squad — between matches as recently as last week, and U.S. Soccer has eliminated other inequities on topics as disparate as meal money and hotel accommodations.

The respect they have won has spread, too: Spain’s national team rose up to demand the ouster of its coach after the last World Cup, and several prominent members of Brazil’s squad quit their team to protest the ouster of a popular female coach in favor of a man. Players from Argentina and Colombia have gone public about mistreatment and meager pay, and Norway’s players demanded — and won — equal pay with their men’s counterparts. That, too, several United States players said, was part of their motivation to press ahead with their suit only months before they turn their focus to retaining their world championship.

“We very much believe it is our responsibility,” Rapinoe said, “not only for our team and for future U.S. players, but for players around the world — and frankly women all around the world — to feel like they have an ally in standing up for themselves, and fighting for what they believe in, and fighting for what they deserve and for what they feel like they have earned.”

U.S. Soccer did not respond to a request for comment.

Direct comparisons between the compensation of the men’s and women’s teams can be complicated. Each team has its own collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Soccer, and among the major differences is pay structure: The men receive higher game bonuses when they play for the United States, but are paid only when they make the team, while the women receive guaranteed salaries supplemented by smaller match bonuses.

One of the biggest differences in compensation is the multimillion-dollar bonuses the teams receive for participating in the World Cup, but those bonuses — a pool of $400 million for 32 men’s teams versus $30 million for 24 women’s teams — are determined by FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, not U.S. Soccer.

The bulk of the suit mirrors many of the issues raised in a wage discrimination complaint filed by five United States players with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. Frustrated by a lack of progress on that complaint after nearly three years of inaction, the players received permission from the federal agency in February to sue instead. (One of the players on the original complaint, the former goalkeeper Hope Solo, filed her own gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer in August.)

The suit offers a new forum but also new hurdles. The players, represented by Jeffrey Kessler, who has been involved in labor fights in nearly every major American sport, will have to prove not only that their team and the men’s squad do the same work, but also overcome questions about the differences in their pay structures and their negotiated collective bargaining agreements. And the C.B.A. has already left them without one bit of leverage: The players cannot strike to press their case at least until it expires at the end of 2021.

But to experts in gender discrimination and Title IX cases, the argument they are making is familiar.

“These are the same kinds of arguments and claims that we still see at every level of education for women and girls, from K through 12 to college,” said Neena Chaudhry, the general counsel of the National Women’s Law Center in Washington. “It’s unfortunately a sad continuation of the way that women and girls in sports are treated in the U.S.”
Well, uh...okay? I don't think they'll win, because if this case was realistic, then every women's group and every woman worker would have some gender inequality suit tied to their name. I could be wrong, I'm only sorta familiar with United States legalese, so my opinion is not the most trustable.
 

TowinKarz

Actually WILL Call Somebody.....
kiwifarms.net
Color me surprised, I was sure the WNBA was going to go the self-destructive lawsuit route first on account of their POC multiplier making it a greater crime they don't make as much as the men and the slow burn they've been doing on ESPN for the last year or so about how the fact they're an unpopular sport that can't fill a community college gym on a good night and would fold tomorrow if the NBA shut off the revenue tap isn't the problem.
 
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Salubrious

Feelin' Healthy
kiwifarms.net
Become more watchable than the men's team then you'll earn your equal pay,otherwise stop crying.
I actually think the women's team has been more watchable then the men's team the last several years. The men's team didn't even qualify for the World Cup last year because of an embarrassing loss. Most of the good men's players are aging out now and other than Christian Pulisic there's not much exciting in the near future on the men's side.
 

Stab You in the Back

kiwifarms.net
Well, uh...okay? I don't think they'll win, because if this case was realistic, then every women's group and every woman worker would have some gender inequality suit tied to their name. I could be wrong, I'm only sorta familiar with United States legalese, so my opinion is not the most trustable.
I don't think they'll win either because they seem to be basing their suit on the premise that male and female soccer players hold equivalent positions even though they're represented by different unions and play in different leagues.
 

Butter

Butter
kiwifarms.net
I actually think the women's team has been more watchable then the men's team the last several years. The men's team didn't even qualify for the World Cup last year because of an embarrassing loss. Most of the good men's players are aging out now and other than Christian Pulisic there's not much exciting in the near future on the men's side.
The US lady's team has always been more successful/better than the men's team. A few years back, they and Germany were the two best teams in the world for years.

Still, if the men's team generates more fans, interest, tv quotes and therefore more sponsorships, advertising and so on (income), the women have 0 rights to get paid more.

This is such a blatant cash grab, if the political Zeitgeist were any different, they'd be laughed out of court.
 

Salubrious

Feelin' Healthy
kiwifarms.net
The US lady's team has always been more successful/better than the men's team. A few years back, they and Germany were the two best teams in the world for years.

Still, if the men's team generates more fans, interest, tv quotes and therefore more sponsorships, advertising and so on (income), the women have 0 rights to get paid more.

This is such a blatant cash grab, if the political Zeitgeist were any different, they'd be laughed out of court.
I guess that's the question: how much money do the men and women each generate?

I know the WNBA loses money for example, but if someone told me that the women and men in US soccer generated the same revenue, I would believe it.

Outside of the FIFA World Cup numbers, which this year would actually favor the women because the men didn't even qualify, what are the numbers?
 
Reactions: Butter

Positron

When Pleonasm becomes Neoplasm
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Still, if the men's team generates more fans, interest, tv quotes and therefore more sponsorships, advertising and so on (income), the women have 0 rights to get paid more.
In other words, they are not doing equal work, so it is beyond ridiculous that they demand equal pay. It is like the CEO of a fly-by-night demanding equal pay as Tim Cook, because they're both CEOs.
 

Smaug's Smokey Hole

Hole no longer smoking
kiwifarms.net
I don't think they'll win either because they seem to be basing their suit on the premise that male and female soccer players hold equivalent positions even though they're represented by different unions and play in different leagues.
Proposal: merge the leagues and pay them based on performance, if one of them consistently outplays Lionel Messi they should get Messi money. On the other hand, if they get blown out by 16 year olds then give them 15 year old money(what's the average allowance these days?).
 

Reactionary Rhetoric

SPQR
kiwifarms.net
IIRC women's soccer is played at the level of 14 to 16 year old boys. I believe there was at least one exhibition match wherein a women's Olympic team lost to a male juniors squad.

Edit: found it.
 
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TowinKarz

Actually WILL Call Somebody.....
kiwifarms.net
I guess that's the question: how much money do the men and women each generate?

I know the WNBA loses money for example, but if someone told me that the women and men in US soccer generated the same revenue, I would believe it.

Outside of the FIFA World Cup numbers, which this year would actually favor the women because the men didn't even qualify, what are the numbers?
Matt Christiansen crunched some numbers because his latest podcast was about this suit (filed on International Women's Day, that's not a blatant tell is it?)

I can't remember the concrete figures he cited, but, even when they made it to the Championship, the Women didn't gross more than the Men's team, and they had to win it all even to get close. (And in further hypocrisy, the women took home a bigger % of the total as personal winnings than the men did, it's ALREADY biased in their favor)

The sport simply doesn't make enough money for the pay rates to be equal, even when women get a BIGGER SHARE OF THE PURSE.

They seem to be suing the world for sexism because they aren't popular (with said unpoularity clearly being the fault of SOMEONE), and merely using the league as a proxy since you can serve it papers.
 

Polyboros2

Is dumb and lost Polyboros password
kiwifarms.net
If this gets any traction, I hope the lawyers on US Soccer does the math and finds that the female players actually make a larger percentage of the total income for their sport versus the men. Just by the virtue of the men's making so much more money. Probably more likely in the WNBA vs NBA, but still, I'd find it funny.
 

BlastDoors41

kiwifarms.net
Tennis and MMA in recent memory have their athletes draw equal compensation regardless of sex.

That’s largely due to the fact that people turn out equally for male and female competitors.

I think gymnastics is another one and rock climbing is coming into its own.

Male and female athletes are not entitled to each other’s profits.

However, you do have to pay people to win championships.
Make of that what you will.
 
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