USWNT Players Ask Appeals Court to Overturn Dismissal of Equal Pay Lawsuit

Blake SchusterContributor IApril 14, 2021

Alex MORGAN of United States (USA), Rose LAVELLE of United States (USA), Crystal DUNN of United States (USA), Christen PRESS of United States (USA) and Megan RAPINOE of United States (USA) prior to the International soccer women friendly match between France and United States on April 13, 2021 in Le Havre, France. (Photo by Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport via Getty Images)
Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport via Getty Images

The United States women's national soccer team asked a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court's decision to dismiss their equal-pay lawsuit, according to the Associated Press.

The team is seeking to be provided with compensation equal to the men's national team.

"For each win, loss and tie that women players secure, they are paid less than men who play the same sport and who do the same work; that is gender discrimination," players' spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement. "A pervasive atmosphere of sexism drove this pay discrimination."

The AP noted that USWNT players are asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the part of the suit that U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner threw out in a partial summary judgment against them in May.

An appeal would go before a three-judge panel, but in general, oral arguments are scheduled 12-20 months following a notice of appeal and nearly a year after written briefs have been submitted.

Players originally sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in March 2019, arguing their pay is inequitable under the terms of their collective bargaining agreement compared to the men's and seeking over $66 million in damages. The USWNT cited the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in their arguments.

Per the AP:

"Klausner threw out the pay claim last May, ruling the women rejected a pay-to-play structure similar to the one in the men's agreement and accepted greater base salaries and benefits than the men, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
"The sides reached a settlement Dec. 1 on working condition claims that Klausner approved Monday. The deal calls for charter flights, hotel accommodations, venue selection and professional staff support equitable to that of the men's national team."

The women's national team is currently off until an international friendly against Switzerland on May 30.