22 February 2020

US women's team seek more than £50 million in damages from US Soccer Federation

The US national soccer team are seeking more than £50 million in damages in their equal pay law suit.

The players sued the US Soccer Federation last March citing institutionalised gender discrimination.

They argue that if their male counterparts had been as successful as them they would have been paid a lot more than them.

The amount of damages the team are seeking was revealed in papers filed in US District Court in Los Angeles before the hearing on May 5.

Among the papers was also the collective bargaining agreements (CBA) of both the men's and women's teams that had previously not been made public.

Morgan and team-mate Megan Rapinoe are among the players suing US Soccer (PA Images)

The CBA's showed a difference between the two teams' bonus structure and the disparity in pay.

US Soccer said in a statement: "Women's national team players are paid differently because they specifically asked for and negotiated a completely different contract than the men's national team, despite being offered, and rejecting, a similar pay-to-play agreement during the past negotiations. 

"Their preference was a contract that provides significant additional benefits that the men's national team does not have, including guaranteed annual salaries, medical and dental insurance, paid child-care assistance, paid pregnancy and parental leave, severance benefits, salary continuation during periods of injury, access to a retirement plan, multiple bonuses and more."

Molly Levison, the spokesperson for the players, said: "In the most recent CBA negotiation, USSF repeatedly said that equal pay was not an option regardless of pay structure

"USSF proposed a 'pay to play structure' with less pay across the board. In every instance for a friendly or competitive match, the women players were offered less pay than their male counterparts. This is the very definition of gender discrimination, and of course the players rejected it."

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