US Soccer Federation Paying $24M To End USWNT Equal Pay Suit

The U.S. Soccer Federation and the USWNT (U.S. women’s national team) have reached a $24 million settlement to conclude the high-profile equal pay and pay discrimination litigation less than a month before the Ninth Circuit was set to hear the case, the parties announced Tuesday.

USWNTPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Under the settlement, U.S. Soccer will pay $22 million to the players in the case, with an additional $2 million allocated to an account “to benefit USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer,” the sides said.

To complete the deal, USWNT players must ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, after which the sides will seek final approval of the settlement by the district court.

In a court filing Tuesday, the parties asked the Ninth Circuit to remove the appeal from the argument calendar.

“We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer,” the players and the federation said in a joint statement. “Getting to this day has not been easy.”

“The U.S. Women’s National Team players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes,” the statement continued. “Today, we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow. Together, we dedicate this moment to them. We look forward to 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 players originally filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016, and were seeking $66.7 million in back pay before Tuesday’s agreement.

The federation has stated that the USWNT’s prior CBAs negotiated for a different pay structure, prioritizing guaranteed money over performance-based compensation.

During the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, which the USWNT won, 24 national teams competed for a total of $30 million, $8 million less than the men’s tournament champion gained for their victory.

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