02 May 2020

Judge rules against US Women's Soccer team's claim for equal pay going to trial

The US Women's soccer team have been dealt a huge blow as a judge ruled against their case for equal pay going to trial.

District Court Judge Gary Klausner ruled on Friday that there is not enough evidence to proceed with claims that players are receiving unequal pay, dealing a significant setback to the team’s lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.  

The judge granted the federation’s motion for summary judgement to dismiss the payment component of the team’s lawsuit, only allowing their claims to discrimination based on travel conditions and medical and training support to move forward. 

Molly Levinson, a spokesperson for the four-time world champions, was adamant they would appeal against the decision.

"We are shocked and disappointed with today's decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay," she said on Twitter. 

"We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender."

Co-captain and outspoken advocate for equality, Megan Rapinoe tweeted: “We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY.”

Tobin Heath wrote: “This team never gives up and we’re not going to start now.

In his judgement, Klausner said the equal pay allegations would not go forward as there was evidence showing that the team previously ‘rejected an offer to be paid under the same pay-to-play structure’ as their male counterparts.

In his 32-page decision he wrote: "The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,

"Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) worse than the MNT (men's national team) CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT's pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure." 

However, this is not the end of the team's battle.

Their case against the US federation regarding money spent on hotel accommodation, travel, medical and training support facilities is set to go to federal court in Los Angeles on June 16, according to Associated Press.

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